The Quarry is an interesting example of the influence of Japanese woodblock prints on Pepper’s style. His spacing of the quarry cliff to loom overhead is reminiscent of Japanese prints that portray towering mountains in the foreground as the focus of the painting. It dominates the composition, an imposing precipice without spatial context to determine actual scale. The shadows are light – purple and grey – exhibiting his eschewal of chiaroscuro, deep shadows, and pronounced light.
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Pepper had occupied a studio in the Fenway Studios building where, with Carl Gordon Cutler, Charles Hopkinson, and Harley Perkins, he established a small coterie of modern artists. Together with Marion Monks Chase, they exhibited as the “Boston Five” and collectively sent works to the famous Armory Show of 1913, receiving their share of critical outrage for challenging the conservative painting styles of the day with their modernist perspective.
His works are in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Worcester Art Museum, the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine, the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, and the Colby College Museum of Art, which has an annual award in Pepper’s honor for an extraordinary student of Studio Art.
Descended in the artist's family
To collection, Boston, Massachusetts
(handwritten on piece of paper in envelope verso): 2. The Quarry
Mary Bradish Titcomb and Her Contemporaries: The Artists of Fenway Studios (1905-1939), Vose Galleries, Boston, May 30 – July 31, 1998, illus. p. 47