Francis Criss (1901–1973)
Mural Study, c. 1930
Oil on artist board, 4 x 7 in.
Signed lower right: Francis Criss
Provenance: Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York; private collection, New York
Related Works: Columbus Circle, 1935, oil on canvas, 41 x 44 inches (private collection)
From 1935 to 1939 Criss worked as a muralist for the New York City office of the Federal Art Project, part of the Works Progress Administration, to design mural paintings for the pioneering Williamsburg Housing Project in Brooklyn. Our painting is believed to be a study for one of the large murals the artist would have designed for city housing buildings. Although the title suggests that the present work is a study for a mural, the right half of the composition closely resembles an easel painting completed by the artist in 1935, titled Columbus Circle, now in a private collection.