Earl Horter (1881–1940)
Gloucester, Massachusetts, 1932
Pastel on vellum, 12 x 14 ½ in.
Signed and dated lower right: E. Horter ‘32
Provenance: Mrs. Isaac LaBracteaux, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania; Kenneth Leabman and David Leitner, Connecticut
Created in 1932, Gloucester, Massachusetts reflects the influence of the classic modernist works with which Horter surrounded himself. His interest in planarity and the tension between two- and three-dimensional form clearly has its source in the analytic cubism of Picasso and Braque, yet it retains an underlying structure, as Paul Cézanne’s work does. Known for his urban subjects, Horter turned his back on oft-painted Gloucester Harbor to portray the town’s buildings spilling down from the hills. Their multi-colored roofs facet the surface of the image and convey the character of a neighborhood packed pell-mell with homes and businesses large and small. Thus Horter combined the social concerns of a realist with the stylistic preoccupations of a Precisionist steeped in Cubism, arriving at this delightful pastel.