Granville Redmond

1871-1935 Los Angeles, CA

Wildflower landscape with poppies and lupine

Oil on canvas
Signed lower left: Granville Redmond
26" H x 40" W

  • Provenance: Abbey Picture Framing, Hollywood, California, acquired directly from the artist in exchange for framing services, circa 1930
    Henry Ruff and Josephine Brownson Ruff, acquired from the above in exchange for rental payments by Abbey Picture Framing, at 7857 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, circa 1930
    By descent in the family to Virginia Ruff Troeger, daughter of the above
    By descent in the family to Mary Jo Troeger Shields, daughter of above, December 1992
    By the descent in the family to the present owners, the Shields Family Trust, 2017
  • Notes: Granville Redmond is widely accepted as California's foremost early Impressionist and is considered a master at capturing the native natural landscape phenomena. Redmond was drawn to the Southern California landscape, light and climate, and in 1898, settled in Los Angeles after extensive study at the California School of Design, and various art schools in Paris. Deafened by scarlet fever in early childhood, Redmond's ability to channel, absorb and convey the majesty of nature in his canvases is what set him apart from other artists.

    Even in his lifetime, Redmond was celebrated for his faithful and resplendent depictions of the local flora, such as the present painting. His friend, collaborator and patron, Charlie Chaplin wrote about these blooming landscapes: 'There's such a wonderful joyousness about them all. Look at the gladness in that sky, the riot of color in those flowers. Sometimes I think that the silence in which he lives has developed in him some sense, some great capacity for happiness in which we others are lacking.'

    Grace Hortense Tower notes that, 'no visitor to California feels his visit complete till he has sought the foothills or the mesas and reveled in the joy of wading into the yellow sea of bloom… to his heart's content.' Early travelers wrote letters home attempting to describe the overwhelming natural fireworks display, while artists set up easels realizing they could sell paintings to awestruck clients, and gallerists in New York, Chicago, and in the burgeoning Los Angeles art scene encouraged them.

    Redmond painted with a heightened sense of the unique light and atmosphere of California, often compared by artists of the period to the Mediterranean. Punctuating the present works' sweeping landscape with a scattering of oak trees, are a blanket of bold orange and blue blooms of the native poppies and lupine. Truly a masterwork by the artist, the present painting showcases Redmond's ability to articulate precise and painterly brushwork, and his skill at conveying distance and atmosphere.

    This wildflower landscape has a clear history of ownership extending back to the artist that ties into the rich history of bartering paintings for services and rent during the Depression. Redmond used Abbey Picture Framing of Hollywood, and the present painting was used to pay for framing services. Abbey Picture Framing in turn rented their Hollywood storefront from their landlord Henry Ruff, and shortly after acquiring the present work, Abbey exchanged it for six months of rental payments. The landscape remained in the family from that time, passing down three generations to the present owner. The present work is framed in an ornate gilt frame and additionally accompanied by a frame that retains the Abbey Picture Framing of Hollywood stamp as presented by the family.
  • Condition: Visual: Generally good condition.
    Blacklight: A 1" x 3" area of touch up lower center with corresponding patch verso.
    Frame: 33.25" H x 47.75" W x 3" D

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May 17, 2020 2:00 PM PDT
Monrovia, CA, US

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