Dimensions: 38 x 28.5 cm
Collection: Niland Collection
Provenance: Presented by James A Healy, 1975 (Josephine C Healy Memorial Collection)
Eugene Higgins was best known for his realist images of the rural and urban poor. He was also celebrated for his print making, in particular his innovative monotypes, or one-off prints. Despite his poor origins, Higgins had studied in Paris at the Académie Julian and the École des Beaux-Arts where he learnt the art of etching and monotype. Returning home he soon gained recognition as a printmaker and was able to make a living as an artist.
This work, which belonged to the Irish American collector James A. Healy appears to be a monoprint created by painting onto a smooth non-absorbent surface and then pressing paper against it. Although the subject is not known, in American history the image of a man on horse back racing through the evening is often associated with the patriot, Paul Revere, who rode through the night of 18 April, 1775 to warn John Hancock and Samuel Adams of the movements of the British Army.
Higgins exhibited his monotypes at the Corcoran Gallery, Washington, in 1912 and his work was also included in the Armory Show of 1913. His reputation was established during the 1930s when he exhibited extensively and his work entered many public collections.
Written by Riann Coulter