Thomas Hart Benton (American, 1889-1975)
Portrait of a Militiaman / Study for Struggle for the Wilderness of the The American Historical Epic
Signed "Benton" in pencil l.l., dedicated "To Bob N...se/Christmas 1928"
in pencil l.c., a portrait sketch on the reverse.
Charcoal on paper, sheet size 19 1/2 x 14 1/8 in. (49.5 x 35.9 cm), unframed.
Condition: Losses and tears to the margins, toning.
Provenance: Mrs. and Mr. Richard Kendrick, Huff's Church, Pennsylvania and Reading, Pennsylvania; gift to Mr. Charles L. Badders, Kingston, Pennsylvania, by family descent to private collection, New Hampshire.
N.B. Benton began his first mural cycle The American Historical Epic in 1919, which aimed to showcase in the grandest format possible, everyday man's illustriousness. Struggle for the Wilderness, which depicts the first encounters of Europeans with Native Americans, was created approximately midway through the nine year Epic series. The present work is a study for the militiaman depicted in the upper right of the finished composition, now in the collection of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
We wish to thank Dr. Henry Adams of the Thomas Hart Benton Catalogue Raisonné Foundation for his assistance with cataloguing the lot.