Guy Rose (1867 - 1925 Pasadena, CA)
Young woman in a field of daisies
Oil on canvas
Signed lower right: Guy Rose, inscribed on the stretcher: Woman's Magazine Cover for June 1914, inscribed verso: 10 3/4" to extreme edges / 2 velox prints wanted
24" H x 17" W

Literature: "The Woman's Magazine," June, 1914, cover illustration.

Notes: Guy Rose, the San Gabriel-born master of Impressionism, studied in Paris beginning in 1888. From 1904 to 1912, he spent eight years living and painting in Giverny, France where he was strongly influenced by his friend Claude Monet and other impressionist painters working there. While Rose painted many personal explorations of impressionism during his time in France, particularly after health issues relating to childhood lead poisoning improved after 1907, he and his wife Ethel financed their lives there through work as illustrators for women's magazines. In fact, the move to France was facilitated by Ethel's work as Paris fashion representative for Harper's Bazaar, a position she held for 13 years beginning in 1899 (South, p. 37).
Guy Rose returned to the United States for the last time in 1912, and brought with him a deep commitment to Impressionism and a focus on light and atmosphere. For their first two years back in the US, Rose and Ethel lived in Washington Square, New York in proximity to Macbeth Gallery where Rose was actively exhibiting, and summered in Narragansett, Rhode Island where Rose taught sketching classes. This brief period ended in fall 1914, when the couple returned permanently to Southern California.
Outdoor figural compositions were a popular genre for Rose and his contemporaries in Giverny and Rose continued to produce alfresco portraiture, such as the present painting, upon his return to the US. In his figure-focused paintings from this period, Rose is particularly adept at depicting layers of patterns from the decorated fabric and folds of his sitter's dress to the naturalistic settings the women are posed in (South, p. 53).
The present alfresco portrait of a beautiful, fashion-forward woman standing in a field of blooming daisies was painted for a June 1914 woman's magazine cover and was possibly executed in February of 1914, according to inscriptions on the upper stretcher bar. Movement is everywhere in the scene - in the figure's billowing wind-swept scarf, in the the riot of daisy heads that surround her feet, in the spindly and irregular distant fence that crosses behind the figure's head, in the lively, bravura brushwork Rose uses to represent the receding blossoms in the middle ground, and in the thinned, quick green brushwork of the background that gives the impression of a thick stand of hedges or trees. Rose, likely with publication in mind, balances and enhances the color palette with deliberate areas of complementary greens and oranges. The pops of tangerine orange in the figure's scarf, flower decorating her hat and even her red hair visually link the figure to the orange daisy heads and distant orange-yellow ragweed growing along the back fence.
Rose was at the prime of his career when the present work was executed. He was exhibiting regularly with top American art dealers, was a sought-after instructor and successful illustrator, and had just returned from a productive, illuminating and healthy period in France. The present painting has the immediacy of an experienced impressionist's first-hand observation of the figure in nature. It showcases Rose's virtuosity with light, and his confident, rapid brushwork executed at the height of his career. Rose's keen awareness of, and ability to balance and restrain color and brushwork honed in France and his extensive experience in producing works intended for printed publication, crystallize in the present painting's intimate yet lavish, natural yet chic portrait composition.

  • Condition: Visual: Generally good condition. Blacklight: No evidence of restoration under blacklight.
    Frame: 31.5" H x 24.5" W x 2.75" D.

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October 23, 2018 6:00 PM PDT
Monrovia, CA, US

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