Hugh Bolton Jones
Hugh Bolton Jones was the older brother of Francis Coates Jones (page 274), but their work was significantly different, with Hugh pursuing pure land- scape painting. Prior to his departure for Europe in 1876, his paintings reflected Hudson River School aesthetics, but almost five years in Pont-Avon, France, produced a plein-air artist more in the Barbizon tradition, which continued after his return to the United States. Winter scenes are among the best and rarest examples of his work, and the combination of a warm, peach-colored sky with the cool tones of snow is absolute magic. I’ve seen no more than a half-dozen examples of this quality in more than forty years. I found this remarkable piece in the late 1980s at a small Darien, Connecticut, gallery. I probably didn’t fully appreciate how good it was at the time, and I’m very lucky because I procrastinated in making up my mind. I suspect if the painting had been in the mid- dle of New York it would have been snapped up right away, but then it would also have been twice the price.