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William Wendt ANA
(1865-1946 Laguna Beach, CA)
"Tahoma, The Eternal," 1913
Oil on canvas laid to canvas
Signed and dated lower left: William Wendt, titled by exhibition listing
39.75" H x 49.75" W

Provenance: Sold: Sotheby's, New York, May 24, 2001, Lot 164A

Exhibitions: Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, "Chicago Artists Eighteenth Annual Exhibition," February-March 1914, no. 321.

Notes: William Wendt, the founder of the California Art Club and affectionately known as 'the Dean of Southern California Artists,' was born far from the Pacific Coast in Germany. After making his way to Chicago where he worked as a staff artist, he began to develop his breezy style of easel painting in his spare time that would evolve to include broad brushstrokes and naturalistic earth tones in his compositions. Painting trips with his friend and fellow artist George Gardner Symons to the West Coast and Europe cemented his love of painting en plein air. After marrying sculptress Julia Bracken in 1906, the couple chose Southern California to be their home. Like many California artists, Wendt would travel to hard to reach places along the West Coast, painting mountains from the Cascades down through the Sierra Nevadas.

The mountain Tahoma, or Mount Rainier as it is also known, is the tallest peak in the Cascade Mountain range. On a clear day the snow-capped peak can be seen in a hundred miles in any direction and remains an important landmark to the people of Washington. Painted during one of the artist's trips to the Cascades, Tahoma, The Eternal, bathes the mountain in a warm glow of light. The canvas is dominated by the mountain at its center, sculpted for the viewer by millennia of ice and wind. Blankets of snow cover the fore and mid-grounds as well as the mountain with only scattered patches of green trees and grass asserting its presence. The patchy clouds with a hint of a storm on the right of the canvas add a touch of uncertainty to an otherwise stoic scene. Wendt's strong brushstrokes and majestic lighting hint that no matter the weather or the passage of time, the mountain will remain, steadfast.


  • Condition: Visual: Generally good condition. Craquelure scattered throughout. Replaced stretchers.
    Blacklight: No evidence of restoration under blacklight.
    Frame: 52.5" H x 62.5" W x 3.5" D

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