Columbus (Study of Sleeves) – Drawing for “Landing of Columbus”, c. 1840
Charcoal and chalk on tan paper
In fine condition aside from a 1 1/2″ repaired tear in the left edge, paper loss in lower left corner, and pinholes in the corners and upper edge, none extending to image. Dimensions measure full sheet.
Study for Vanderlyn’s mural, “Landing of Columbus,” commissioned for the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. in 1836/1837; placed 1847. On October 12, 1492, Christopher Columbus landed in the West Indies, on an island the natives called Guanahani and Columbus named San Salvador. This drawing is a study of the sleeves for Columbus’ costume. Vanderlyn made many costume drawings in preparation for the mural. The Senate House State Historic Site in Kingston, NY owns a number of costume studies for Columbus, including more sleeves (SH1975.582.A, SH.1975.756.A), drapery studies (SH.1975.584), and a torso study (SH.1975.616).
Exhibited/Published: “American Drawings, Pastels, and Watercolors, Part One: Works of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries,” Kennedy Galleries Inc., March 14th to April 28th, 1967. No. 117 in accompanying exhibition catalogue (illus. p 70); and “The Works of John Vanderlyn: From Tammany to the Capitol”, University Art Gallery, State University of New York at Binghamton, October 11 – November 9, 1970, No. 82 in accompanying exhibition catalogue by Kenneth C. Lindsay (illus. p. 103).
Two labels from Kennedy Galleries affixed verso. First label inscribed: “John Vanderlyn – 1775-1852 / Columbus (Study of Sleeves) / 12.0, 15.3 – Charocoal on paper/ Number 13414 / Neg. 3798 / Kennedy Galleries, Inc. / 40 W. 57th St., 5th Floor, N.Y. 10019-4044”; Second label bears additional catalogue information: “117 Amer Dwgs Pastels & Wcs Part 1 p70”.
Provenance: John Vanderlyn to (1852) his niece, Catherine Vanderlyn (1825-1892); to Judge A. Schoonmaker; to his daughter, Lizzy Rioggen (Mrs. William) Laughton; to Mr. Fred Johnston (c. 1963); to Kennedy Galleries; to Childs Gallery.