Guy Rose: California Impressionist

4 Oct

Guy Rose, Carmel Seascape (1918)

Note: click on any image to enlarge

Guy Orlando Rose (1867-1925) is one of the originators of California Impressionism and recognized as one of the school’s leading artists in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.  To my eye his work is distinguished by its lavish but controlled use of vivid color, very much in the tradition of the French Impressionists, and he is one of my favorite painters from the California Impressionist school.

Guy Rose, Seventeen Mile Drive (1918)

Guy Rose, Notre Dame de Grace, Honfleur (1910)

Rose, the son of  prominent California senator Leaonard John Rose, was born in the San Gabriel Valley.  In an odd twist of fate, he was accidentally shot in the face during a hunting trip with his brothers and began sketching  and using watercolors and oil paints during his recuperation.  After graduating Los Angeles High School in 1884 he moved to San Francisco where he received training at the California School of Design, studying with Danish-born artist Emil Carlsen.

Guy Rose, Indian Tobacco Trees, La Jolla (c. 1915-16)

In 1888, Rose enrolled at the Academie Julian in Paris and studied with Benjamin-Constant, Jules Lefebvre, Lucien Doucet and Jean-Paul Laurens.  While studying at the Academie Julian he won a scholarship at the Academie Delacluse. In Paris Rose befriended fellow students Frank Vincent and Frederick Melville.  Rose and Vincent remained lifelong friends.

Guy Rose, On the River’s Edge (1910)

Upon his return to the United States Rose settled in New York and illustrated for Harper’sScribners, and Century.  He returned to France in 1899, where he and his wife Ethel bought a cottage at Giverny.  From 1904 to 1912 Rose and Ethel lived in Giverny and Rose found a friend and mentor in the person of none other than Claude Monet.

Guy Rose, In the High Canadian Rockies (c. 1916-20)

Rose and Ethel returned to the United States and, in 1913-14, spent summers at Narragansett, Rhode Island.  The Roses moved permanently to Los Angeles in 1914.  Rose’s work in California has received great notoriety, especially his depictions of the California Coast from as far north as Monterey to as far south as La Jolla.  Truly spectacular stuff!

Guy Rose, La Jolla Arbor (date unknown)

Guy Rose, A Carmel Pine (1918)

In Los Angeles Rose also taught and served as Director of the Stickney Memorial School of Art in Pasadena.  He died in Pasadena in 1925.  A memorial exhibition of his works was held at the Stendahl Gallery in 1926.

Guy Rose, The Blue Kimono (1910)

Guy Rose, Oak Grove, Carmel (1918)

Isn’t Rose’s work striking?  I love his use of blue — always spot on — and his ability to bring the California Coast to life.  you can practically hear the surf crashing in some of these paintings!

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