Browse Similar Masterworks

Early Morning on the Ashley River-Going to Market,
Andrew Melrose (1836-1901)

View Artist Bio
Oil on canvas
30 x 50 inches
Period Frame
Signature Details: A. Melrose
Status: Florence County Museum, Florence, South Carolina

This intimate view exemplifies Andrew Melrose's predilection for nature's calmer face. Quiet sunsets and slowly meandering rivers appealed to this artist's brush throughout a career that spanned more than forty years.

Born in Selkirk, Scotland, Melrose came to America in his early twenties. He is presumed to have been self-taught as an artist, as there is no record of any formal training. After living briefly in both Toronto and New York City, Melrose settled in Hudson County, New Jersey. From his studio window, he could take in the sweeping panorama of New York Bay. Living in close proximity to the city, Melrose earned commissions for book illustrations, and many of the artist's paintings were published as etchings or lithographs, keeping his name before the public eye. Though never a major figure in the art world of his day, Melrose was well respected and enjoyed the patronage of several important clients. He exhibited landscapes and genre pictures at the National Academy of Design from 1868 through 1883.

An inveterate traveler, Melrose found his subjects in the Hudson River Valley, New England, and the American South and West. He recorded his Southern stays in such important canvases as Whiskey Still by Moonlight; Tellulah Chasm, Georgia; The Land of the Sky, North Carolina; and Life on the River. Though he rarely dated his works, Early Morning on the Ashley River-Going to Market, set near Charleston, South Carolina, can be assigned to the decade of the 1880s with some certainty. In both the grassy foreground area and the manner in which the tree is painted, the piece exhibits a loose handling of the brush that Cropsey, Thomas Moran, and other American landscapists were employing at the time. Leaves and branches are suggested with a quick, staccato motion, as opposed to the artist's more painterly technique of earlier decades. The golden light that dominates the picture, the mirror-like water, the sharp focus of the foreground, and the overall horizontality are elements shared with the works of Frederic Church. Painted in response to lumnism, this view is considered one of Melrose's most accomplished pieces, successfully combining genre with beautiful landscape.

Private Collection, Southern California until 1992
Butterfield and Butterfield, Dec 1992, Lot 3824
Private Collection, Thomasville, GA, 1995-1999
Wright Collection of Southern Art, 1999-2008

Gibbes Art Museum, Charleston. Lure of the Lowcountry, 1994.
Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, Spirit of the Bayou, March 3-May 7, 1995.

For more information on this artist and work, please contact us.

This essay is copyrighted by Robert M. Hicklin Jr., Inc. and may not be reproduced or transmitted without written permission.

1451 River Road · Yemassee, SC 29945 · 843.412.8738
Get Our Email Newsletter
Created by . Easy site updating through Backstage CMS.