In 1927, the artist moved from New York to Ithaca. “Sheep Country” is one of her first treatments of her new surroundings. In a 1939 exhibition of her Finger Lake paintings, Bishop wrote how struck she was by the drama and natural history of the land. This large oil can be included in the Regionalist painting tradition that had gained great currency in the 1930s.
This work is marked by a darker, muddier palette than Bishop often used, giving the landscape a threatening cast that is enhanced by the purple storm clouds barreling in above. The painting’s high horizon line emphases the steepness of the rolling hills and the demanding nature of American farm life. 38” X 38”.