EDWARD WILLIS REDFIELD
1869 - 1965
Title: "Boothbay Harbor - Maine"
Date: c. 1905
Size: Height 32 inches Width 37 1/2 inches (framed)
This important American Impressionist artist was born in Bridgeville, Delaware, in 1869. He studied at the Spring Garden Institute, Franklin Institute and then enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy from 1887 to 1889 where he studied under Thomas Anshutz, James Kelly and Thomas Hovenden. His friend and fellow artist, Robert Henri, travelled abroad with him in 1889 and studied at the Academie Julian in Paris under the tutelage of William Bouguereau and Tony Robert-Fleury. Upon his return to the United States he settled in Glenside, Pennsylvania, remaining there until 1898, later moving to Centre Bridge, a town several miles north of New Hope, along the Delaware River. He spent his summers in Maine first at Boothbay Harbor and beginning in the 1920s, on Monhegan Island. There he painted colorful marine and coastal scenes as well as the island’s landscape and harbors.
During the summer of 1890 Robert Henri and Redfield travelled together to Saint-Nazaire and it was from these travels that Redfield noted his greatest influences were from Monet, Pissaro and Fritz Thaulow, a Norwegian Impressionist renowned for his snowy landscapes. By 1891 Redfield was staying at the Hotel Deligant in Brolles near Fontainbleau with a group of American artists. It was here that he painted “Road-Forest of Fountainbleau” which was accepted at the Paris Salon. This was a turning point in his career for this painting was sold to the Pennsylvania Academy. He returned to Paris in 1907 and exhibited a small but important body of work at the Paris Salon, one of which was duly recognized with an Honorable Mention. Numerous awards were to follow including a Gold Medal at the prestigious Buenos Aires Exposition. At the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco of 1915 an entire gallery was dedicated to twenty of his paintings. With the exception of John Singer Sargent, Redfield is said to have won more prizes, awards, and medals than any other American artist of the 20th century.
Redfield’s bold Impressionist style which defined his reputation as one of the most accomplished American Impressionist painters of the early twentieth century, is divided between his snow scenes and his Boothbay Harbor, Maine plein-air landscapes, equally admired and sought after by museums and collectors alike. From 1905 Redfield’s style had evolved using thick vigorous brushstrokes tightly woven and layered with extraordinary color tones -- his time spent in Paris greatly influencing his work.
Museums where this artist’s work may be seen include The Smithsonian; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; Museum Luxembourg, Paris; Boston Museum of Art; Brooklyn Art Institute, Chicago Art Institute, etc.
This painting will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonne on Edward Willis Redfield by Dr. Thomas Folk. According to Dr. Folk, this painting is listed in the inventory of the artist’s estate by his daughter-in-law. This wonderful example of his work is presented in excellent condition and is signed by the artist.