“Family Portrait” (1951), by Edward Christiana (1912-1982), is an oil on canvas measuring 40 by 46 inches. It is signed lower right, and dated–” ’51″–on the recto, and on the verso.
With “Family Portrait” Christiana blends his interests in the abstract with realism: displaying his appreciation for John Marin (1870-1953) and J. C. Leyendecker (1874-1951). Though his foreground figures are recognizably representational he bends them toward Cubism, in much the same manner as Marin did with his compositions: while within the same composition, he reduces some of his background figures to flattened geometric forms.
Though Christiana was known as the “Painter Laureate of the Mohawk Valley,” in central New York State, he painted throughout the US and Canada. He graduated from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn in 1933 and taught at the Munson-Williams-Proctor School of Art (Utica, NY) from the 1940s until the 1970s. His inspirations included J. C. Leyendecker, N. C. Wyeth, and John Marin. His oil paintings and watercolors are represented in the Currier Gallery of Art (NH), Worcester Art Museum (MA), and Columbus Museum of Art (OH), among other institutions.
The frame for this painting was made by the artist. It measures 46 3/4 by 52 3/4 inches.