Beautifully pleasant and aglow with luminous color, this impressionistic painting by Edward Cucuel captures a Long Island beachhead and harbor, with bathers and their small boat ashore while sailing yachts and one luxury steam yacht lay at anchor or enjoy the bright sunshiny day. Technically it appears to be a casual work, until you recognize that he trained in this style for nearly 30 years, and notice the precise layering of colors in his hillside and shade-giving tree at the water’s edge.
Something universal in Cucuel’s artistic appeal is the light, bright mood his paintings radiate. The people enjoying themselves at the shore, the graceful yet simply defined ships, and the warmth of the day helps viewers find such individual relaxation in their own lives.
Among the places held special to Cucuel, the greater New York area would hold his interest throughout his adult life. A professional illustrator for newspapers from early on, he continued to work with publication even as his original artworks achieved worldwide acclaim, and in the 1920s he exhibited at the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Arts, as well as New York galleries. Not one necessarily seeking validation through the competitive nature of art shows, he did medal at the Panama-Pacific Exposition of 1915 in his home town of San Francisco.
INSCRIBED VERSO: “A Summer Day (Long Island) L.I. Cucuel”
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