Sold to a private impressionist painting collector
Frank W. Benson (1862-1951)
Salmon Fishing, dated 1927
Signed "F.W. Benson '27", lower left
Oil on canvas, 32 x 40 inches
Selling Price: $747,500
Courtesy of Copley Fine Art Auctions/Stephen O'Brien Jr. Fine Arts, LLC, Boston, MA
This July 27th marked the inaugural Sporting sale for Copley Fine Art Auctions, the new company founded by decoy and sporting art expert and dealer Stephen B. O'Brien, Jr. The top selling lot, Salmon Fishing, was by impressionist artist Frank W. Benson. The painting was given as a wedding gift to the original owner by the artist in 1927. Starting with an opening bid of $500,000, the painting sold for $747,500 after competitive bidding from several parties.
Benson was an avid fisherman. In Salmon Fishing he depicts the action and excitement of the sport as the angler reels in a catch while the guide paddles with the current. While the fishermen seem to be the central figures, it is in fact the grandeur of the wilderness that dominates the scene, illustrating Benson's great reverence for the natural world. Though the only Benson oil offered during the sale, Benson's work was also represented in etchings, ink washes, and stone lithographs.