May 2016 | Rebecca Rego Barry

A View of Manhattan, as Described by Stephen Crane

Emile Stange painted this Hudson River scene c. 1892, but it was his friend, writer Stephen Crane, who later captioned it, "The Sense of A City is War."
Crane.jpgCrane lived in New York City from 1894 to 1897. He had established himself as an author with Maggie: A Girl of the Streets in 1893, and The Red Badge of Courage followed in 1895. His circle of friends at the time included Stange as well as another artist, Corwin Linson. It was Linson who recalled this 5 1/2" x 8 3/4" oil on canvas in his memoir, My Stephen Crane: "Stange had given me a small sketch of a great white cruiser at anchor in the North River against the line of city towers. Steve at once entitled it 'The Sense of A City is War.'"

The painting is inscribed by the artist at bottom right, "To my friend Linson 1894, Emile Stange 1892." In another hand (presumably Linson's) in the lower left is Crane's title.   

Swann Galleries will offer this painting at auction on May 18. The estimate is $1,000-1,500. Will it be an art (Stange) collector or a book (Crane) collector who covets it most?

Image via Swann Auction Galleries.