Texas Landscape with Bluebonnets – Julian Onderdonk’s masterpiece hidden from the world for 40 years and never before published in color – is expected to sell for $150,000+ in Heritage Auctions’ Texas Art Auction Nov. 7 in Dallas. The signature painting from Texas’ top landscape artist has spent its entire existence in private collections and will make its auction debut along with Stone Bridge in Winter, Central Park, an important New York scene painted by Onderdonk between 1901 and 1909 (est. $10,000).
“These two, historically important paintings were discovered by Heritage Auctions and fill in the blanks on Onderdonk’s prolific and genre-defining career,” said Atlee Phillips, Director of Texas Art at Heritage Auctions. “Other than the family that has owned it since the early 1900s, no one has seen this painting in color for 40 years. Texas Landscape with Bluebonnets is one of the three such themed paintings in this auction, which makes it a collector’s dream for lovers of Texas art.”
Texas Landscape with Bluebonnets (measuring 25 by 30 inches) was published in black and white in “A Family of Texas Painters” by scholar Cecilia Steinfeldt in 1975. The painting uniquely embodies the complexity of the Texas landscape, which can be at once breathtakingly beautiful and compellingly rough, by juxtaposing the heavy impasto of the crumbling rocks and spiny cactus dominating the foreground with the beautifully impressionistic treatment of the trees and sky in the middle and backgrounds. This example personifies the style, technique, and legacy of Julian Onderdonk, Phillips said.
The popularity of landscapes by Porfirio Salinas has increased in recent years and Morning in the Hill Country (est. $15,000+) is the exactly the type of iconic impressionistic depiction of the Texas landscape that has helped to inspire the rising popularity of Texas art as a focus for collectors, scholars and exhibitions.