Bruce Crane, ‘Golden Hour’, ca. 1905, Private Collection, NY

Illustrated, A History of American Tonalism, p. 496.

About Bruce Crane

One of the most prolific and talented of the Tonalists, Bruce Crane was influenced by James Abbott McNeill Whistler and Jean-Charles Cazin, who emphasized a mode of painting in which objects were not modeled but treated as flat masses. Crane’s exquisite and intimate winter scenes, especially in watercolor, are exemplars of aesthetic design principles based on Asian precedents, in which the subject is cropped for dramatic effect, and land forms are arranged to create a sense of harmony and balance. After 1900, Crane’s paint handling became more gestural and expressive and was deployed to create intimate scenes of palpable atmosphere, especially abandoned meadows enveloped in mist and fog. These harked back to George Inness’s ideas about the “civilized landscape” and were memorials to an American nostalgia for a lost rural world.

American, 1857-1937, New York, New York