Robert Hale Ives Gammell was an artist out of sync with his times, for which I set the fault on the times rather than the artist.
Gammell was born in 1893, when academic realism and the classical traditions to which it adhered were about to be overthrown and temporarily (thankfully) submerged beneath the turgid waves of 20th Century Modernism.
Gammell trained at the School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, where he was a student of Edmund Tarbell, Joseph DeCamp and Phillip Hale. In particular he came to be profoundly influenced by his study with William Paxton, who had been classically trained in Europe and had studied with Jean-Léon Gérôme at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
Gammell thrived on the nourishment of the classical traditions, but found himself in a century when those traditions and values were being denigrated and treated as passé. His large scale paintings of mythological and Biblical themes were not well received by an art establishment caught up in the sacred “newness” of whatever modernist “ism” was in this week, and he eventually suffered a nervous collapse. He credited his recovery partly to his study of the writings of the visionary psychologist Carl G. Jung.
As he recovered he laid the groundwork for his book Twilight of Painting (out of print, but available used), in which he laments the demise of those traditions and (wrongly, I think) lays the blame partly at the unfinished Academic training of the Impressionists; which left them unable bring a painting to a finished state, and established a permissiveness for unfinished works in the art establishment. He wrote two other books, The shop-talk of Edgar Degas and The Boston Painters 1900-1930.
He devoted the remainder of his life to teaching and perpetuating what he saw, and rightly so, as the threatened traditions of classical Western Art. A number of his students (and their students) went on to become notable realist painters.
He also started what would become his masterwork, a series of 23 related paintings (or “panels”) based on the poem Hound of Heaven by English poet Francis Thompson. You can see small reproductions of nine of the panels on Wikipedia (panel 12 shown here).
Gammell found himself at a loss for some of the imagery he needed to transform the ideas in the poem into the visual realm and found them in the writings of Jung, perhaps putting him more in touch with the times than he thought.