Sale 0418 Lot 12

American (1880-1940) 
Fishing Boats 
oncanvas, signed "Jonas Lie" lower left. 
22 x 26 inches



Born in Moss, Norway, in 1880, Jonas Lie grew up in Oslo before moving to America in 1893. He settled for a time in New Jersey, and painted his first plein air landscapes in Provincetown on Cape Cod at the age of 16. He soon after began renting a studio in New York and exhibiting at the National Academy of Design. At the age of 23 he exhibited a landscape at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts that was purchased by William Merritt Chase.


While his reputation was rising in the U.S., Lie traveled to Europe in 1909 and visited Henri Matisse and Gertrude Stein. Upon returning to New York his work displayed greater confidence of brushwork, an interest in strong light and an increasingly intense use of color. Dissatisfied with the jury system of the National Academy, in 1919 Lie joined fellow artists George Bellows, Robert Henri, Childe Hassam and Alexander Calder in establishing the Society of American Painters, Sculptors, and Gravers, later the New Society of Artists. Lie nonetheless maintained membership in the Academy, and served as the organization’s president, the first non-American to hold the position, from 1934-1939.[2] At the time of his death in 1940, Lie had had 57 one-man shows of his paintings.


Fishing Boats, offered here, is an impressive example of Lie’s Passion for coastal subjects, the water is seen from a height which allows for a spectacular panoramic view. The strength of coloring is typical of his mature work, his bold use of green to reflect the blue water is impressive and is recognized in many of his works.








[1] William H. Gerdts, Jonas Lie, (New York, Spanierman Gallery, 2005), 13.

[2] Carol Lowery, Gerdts, 28.

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