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Rural Landscape
20" x 24"
Oil on canvas
1940

Predominantly known as an accomplished printmaker and renowned educator, James Lesesne Wells was also a talented painter. While he focused his later career on printmaking and believed its accessibility and reproducibility was suitable for broadening the audience for African American subject matter, Wells’ art was rich with religious and mythological scenes often set in detailed urban and rural environments. This rare oil painting offers rich autumnal hues, rendered in the same impressionistic brushstrokes he brought to his still life works, and the linear diagonals of the road in the bottom right recall similar directional marks found in the later prints of urban scenes.