Monday, April 22, 2013

Guy Rose: Impressionism from Giverny to Laguna

Guy Orlando Rose (1867-1925) was essentially an Impressionist. In America, he is known as a California Impressionist, but he spent about a third of his professional life in France, many of those years at the artist colony around Giverny, home to prototypical French Impressionist Claude Monet.

Certain oil paints are known to provoke lead poisoning, and Rose was particularly susceptible. Diagnosed in his late 20s, he dropped painting for illustration for a while but returned to oils. He eventually suffered a stroke and died a few years later. I have no idea if the stroke was related in any way to lead poisoning.

A brief Wikipedia biography of Rose is here. A slightly more informative one from a museum specializing in California Impressionism is here. There are also books dealing with Rose himself as well as California Impressionism.

Aside from growing up in California, Rose spend comparatively little time in the state. Nevertheless, he created a number of fine plein-air paintings of its coast and a few of its mountains.


The Potato Gatherers - 1891
When Rose painted this he seems to have been influenced by Bastien-Lepage rather than the Impressionists.

The Poppy Field - c.1910
Claude Monet painted poppy fields, and so did Rose.

The Bridge at Vernon - c.1910
Giverny fans know that Vernon is the first sizable town downriver on the Seine from Giverny, and a convenient point to get to the south bank.

The Blue Kimono - 1909
Monet and many others were entranced by Japan.

From the Dining Room Window - c.1910
I find this interesting because the interior is painted in a crisp style, and the bit shown outside the window is Impressionist.

Carmel Valley
This is pretty much what the valley still looks like, though a dotting of houses is now evident.

Carmel Coast - c.1919
Hmm. 1919. That's the year that the Pebble Beach Golf Links was established. On that distant shore, approximately.

Compared to the Carmel area, Laguna now has buildings covering several of its hills. When Rose painted this, the place was an artist colony.

San Gabriel Road
San Gabriel Mission
Scenes from where Rose was born and raised.

Marguerite - c.1918
One of his later portraits. This and some of the other California paintings indicate a drift from French to American Impressionism with its greater focus on drawing and solidity of subject matter.


dearieme said...

The shades of lavender in the bridge painting are rather attractive: I could take delight in having that on my wall (that is the basic test of paintings, isn't it?).

Donald Pittenger said...

dearieme -- That's an excellent criterion. My problem is that my taste evolves. So what I really liked five years ago, I might now consider to be very nice, but not worth buying & hanging.