American LandscapeArtist(s)Edward Willis RedfieldObject Creation Date20th centuryMedium & Supportoil on canvasDimensions
16 1/8 x 22 3/16 in. (40.8 x 56.2 cm);22 1/2 x 30 1/2 x 1 1/2 in. (57.15 x 77.47 x 3.81 cm)Credit LineGift of Mr. Gilbert M. FrimetLabel copy
President's House object Summary
Edward Redfield was born into a Quaker family in Bridgeville, Delaware in 1869. The family moved to Philadelphia when he was still quite young. Redfield studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia and soon after traveled to London, and France, where he enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the Academie Julian. He studied under Bougereau, but was more interested in modern painters like Degas and Monet than art of the past. He was drawn to open-air landscapes and spent some time in the forest of Fontainbleau with Robert Henri, a painter friend from Philadelphia. After a visit to Venice, he returned to the United States in 1892. The following year he married a young French woman, Elise Deligant.
Redfield became a highly successful artist. His landscapes are impressionistic in manner and were mainly painted out of doors. He did not sketch or make studies beforehand; instead he tried to complete paintings in a single day. Working during winter often meant he was out in brutal conditions. As a result his winter canvases can seem fairly abstract. At a distance, the trees, hills and streams are recognizable, but up close, is all thick impasto. Redfield was a powerful painter, and he set the standard for American landscape painting during his lifetime. His style influenced many younger artsists. He was a friend of John Sloan, Robert Henri, William Flachers, George Luks and Everett Shinn, who would later be know as the Eight.
In 1953 Redfield ceased painting. His style was no longer fashionable and he found sales to be increasingly difficult. In his last years, he produced crafts, such as hooked rugs and painted chests, in the early American style, and made reproductions of early American furniture.
Redfield died in 1965 at the age of 95. In the 1970s and 1980s his art and the art of his contemporaries was revalued. He is now considered to be one of the most important artists of Pennsylvania and an innovative and significant landscape painter.
(Christa Janecke)Primary Object ClassificationPaintingCollection AreaWesternRights
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modern and contemporary art