“The Sleeping Giant ” – Indian Rock – Toward Five Loaves
FES Title: “The Sleeping Giant” Indian Rock; toward 5 loaves
Alternate Titles: The Sleeping Giant (1951, 1952); Indian Rock
Date: 09/15/1951
Size: 29″H x 33″W
Medium: oil-on-gesso-board
Type: landscape
Inscription: lr: Frank E. Schoonover / B – 1951
Annotations: en verso: Indian Rock / The Sleeping Giant, Bushkill / 2458 / Sep 13-14 1951 / on easel in boat
Exhibitions: 1951 WSFA; 1952 Buck Hill; 1962 FES
Comments: TP9/9/04; form 9/9/04; index; edit
Commentary: In 1954, Schoonover wrote the following description of this painting:
“This landscape was prompted by a nostalgic feeling for a spot along the Delaware River between Bushkill and Shawnee Pike County, Pennsylvania. As a boy the artist fished hereabouts and the big rock always seemed to be like the head of a great stone giant.
It is not great stretch of the imagination to the the eye, the nose in the water, and the long mouth. The Indians called this ‘Indian Rock.’ It was a mighty ledge that ran well up into the mountain. Part way there was a rock shelter with a flowing spring of water. A few of the Lenni Lenape lived there and undoubtedly fished from the bank and from their log canoes. The years have added details to this scene which the Indians knew. One can see the single cardinal flower growing from a cleft in the big rock. There were also many mussel shells along the bank (They can be seen in the painting), for this was the home of the muskrats.
The river is very deep at the rock, but breaks into a fair rift in the distance to round the mountain and flow on towards the Delaware Water Gap.” (exhibition information written by the artist – archives)
“Purple loosestrife – lower right and Cardinal single flower on rock. This cardinal on rock was the motif for the painting. Painted Sep – 13, 14, 15 – 1951.” (card written by artist – archives)
‘Five Loaves’ refers to the five mountains in the background. Seen together from a distance, they look like five loaves of bread – thus the name.
For many years, the Schoonovers had this painting hanging in their dining room at 2003 North Bancroft Parkway in Wilmington. Mr. Schoonover often remarked that his favorite part of the painting was the red flower on the ‘Sleeping Giant’.
Provenance: Sold by artist to J.W. Stillman (April 7, 1965); Mr. and Mrs George Chase, Wilmington, Delaware [1983]; Mrs. Detchen, Wilmington, Delaware; Collection of Mary and Hank Davis