Madawaska—Acadian Light-Heavy

A work made of oil on hardboard.

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  • A work made of oil on hardboard.

Date:

1940

Artist:

Marsden Hartley
American, 1877–1943

About this artwork

Late in life, Marsden Hartley returned to his native Maine and produced a series of heroic figure paintings.
Madawaska—Acadian Light-Heavy is one of several studies of athletes that he made for a gymnasium mural. Hartley particularly favored this model, a French-Canadian light heavyweight boxer. He explained, “I have for the first time since 1922 a real live model a magnificent young feller… . His body is so fine and dear I could work almost without end from him.” Hartley delighted in the boxer’s strong physique, exaggerating his anatomy and painting the background a deep red to heighten the impression of his vitality. Hartley’s figure paintings enjoyed great success. Critics in the early 1940s praised them for their depiction
of strong masculinity, willfully ignoring their controversial homoerotic undertones.

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American Art

Artist

Marsden Hartley

Title

Madawaska—Acadian Light-Heavy

Origin

United States

Date

1940

Medium

Oil on hardboard

Inscriptions

Signed, inscribed, and dated verso: Madawaska--Acadian / Light-Heavy / Marsden Hartley / 1940.

Dimensions

101.6 × 76.2 cm (40 × 30 in.)

Credit Line

Bequest of A. James Speyer

Reference Number

1987.249

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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