California Impressionism: Granville Redmond

28 Oct

Granville Redmond, Malibu Coast Spring (1929)

Note: click on any image to enlarge

Granville Redmond (1871-1935) was an American landscape painter  steeped in the tradition of both Tonalism and California Impressionism.  He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and, at the age of about two-and-a-half, contracted Scarlet Fever.  When he recovered he was found to be deaf, and remained so for the rest of his life.  Shortly after his recovery he and his family relocated to San Jose, California where he was enrolled at the Berkeley School for the Deaf.

Granville Redmond, California Oaks (1910)

Granville Redmond, Opalescent Sea (1918)

At the Berkeley School Redmond’s talents as an artist were recognized and cultivated.  He learned painting, drawing and pantomime from his teacher Theophilus d’Estrella.  Upon graduation from the Berkeley School he enrolled in the California School of Design in San Francisco where he studied under Arthur Frank Matthews and Amedee Joullin and won the W.E. Brown Medal of Excellence.

Granville Redmond, Seascape Study (date unknown)

Granville Redmond, Shepherd and Flock (1900)

In 1893 Redmond won a scholarship from the California School of the Deaf which allowed him to study in Paris at the Academie Julian under Jean-Paul Laurens and Benjamin Constant.  He roomed with the sculptor Douglas Tilden, who was also deaf.  In 1895 Redmond’s painting Matin d’Hiver was accepted for the Paris Salon.  Redmond returned to California in 1898, settling in Los Angeles.  The next year he married Carrie Ann Jean, a former student of the Illinois School for the Deaf.  Together they had three children.

Granville Redmond, Matin D’Hiver (1895)

Granville Redmond with Charles Chaplin

Granville Redmond, Landscape (date unknown)

In Los Angeles Redmond became a good friend of silent film actor Charles Chaplin.  Chaplin was quite taken not only with Redmond’s art but also with his use of American Sign Language.  Chaplin admired the natural expressiveness of American Sign Language and asked Redmond to help him learn it.  Chaplin went so far as to give Redmond studio space on the movie lot and became an avid collector of Redmond’s art.  Chaplin even featured Redmond in silent acting roles, including the role of the sculptor in City Lights.

Granville Redmond, Poppies and Lupine (date unknown)

Granville Redmond, Coyote Point (date unknown)

Granville Redmond, Flowers Under the Oaks (date unknown)

Granville Redmond, Sunrise Over Catalina Island (1920)

Artistically, Redmond’s work may be classified under two main themes: Tonalism and Impressionism.  His Tonalist works are evocative of the work of James McNeill Whistler (See prior post, James McNeill Whistler: Seven Landscapes, February 23, 2012).  His Impressionist works are extremely vibrant and colorful, evoking not just French Impressionism but also the work of colorist Henri Matisse.

Granville Redmond, Marsh Under Golden Skies (date unknown)

Redmond’s many depictions of California wildflowers — only a few of which are represented here — are his best known paintings and have begun commanding steep prices.  A number of his works have a loose feel and deft use of color that reminds me of one of my other favorite painters, the Canadian Tom Thomson.  Coyote Point, for example, looks like it could’ve been painted by Thomson.  (See a collection of Thomson’s work in the prior post The Canadian Wilderness: Favorite Tom Thomson Landscapes, February 17, 2012.)

Granville Redmond, Nocturne (date unknown)

Granville Redmond, Moonlight on the Marsh (date unknown)

2 Responses to “California Impressionism: Granville Redmond”

  1. Tina March 2, 2014 at 7:21 pm #

    Wow, thoroughly enjoyed looking through these. The paintings show a gentle soul. Thank you.

    • bobbalouie March 2, 2014 at 7:27 pm #

      Glad you enjoyed! I agree with you.

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