Norton expanded his artistic training with self-financed studies abroad throughout his career. “A Quiet Nook” is an excellent example of the artist’s growing virtuosity in both composition and style that was inspired and influenced by his European pilgrimages.
The rich coloration that marks Norton’s American coastal scenes remains prominent in this work, but here it has been incorporated into a charming tableau of a mother and her children enjoying a leisurely afternoon on the European seacoast. The nicely drawn figures are sheltered beneath the bows of coastal fishing craft, pulled up on the beach amid the wildflowers and spartina. A band of azure sea with a lone sailboat on the horizon adds depth and balance to the foreground perspective.
This painting combines a highly desirable subject with Norton’s profound understanding of coastal atmosphere and marine detail. A fine example of his European period, it remained for many years in the collection of the artist’s family, owned by his daughter.
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