La Jolla Beach signed 'Guy Rose' (center right) oil on canvas 24 x 29in overall: 33 x 38in
PROVENANCE: With Stendahl Galleries, Los Angeles, circa 1918 Private collection, Northern California, until circa 1990
EXHIBITED: Oakland, California, The Oakland Museum, Guy Rose, American Impressionist, July 1, 1995 - September 24, 1996. Greenville, South Carolina, Greenville County Museum of Art, Guy Rose, American Impressionist, December 4, 1996 - January 9, 1997. Montclair, New Jersey, The Montclair Art Museum, Guy Rose, American Impressionist, April 27, 1997 - August 10, 1997. Irvine, California, The Irvine Museum, Peaceful Awakening: Spring in California, January 20 - May 12, 2007.
LITERATURE: Will South, Guy Rose, American Impressionist, Oakland, 1995, p. 132, illustrated.
In the late 1880's, Guy Rose went to Paris and studied with Benjamin Constant, Jules Lefebvre, and at the Academie Julian with Lucien Doucet. The influence of these painters can be seen clearly in the early works of Guy Rose. The artist's later, Impressionist paintings are a distinct departure from this academic style and speak to the heavy influence of Claude Monet on Rose's work a decade later. Living in Giverny with his wife, Rose took that academic foundation and immediately replaced it with the new modern style of the day, brightening his palette and adding a completely new wispy, quick freshness to his works. The result was a true, seasoned American Impressionist.
Twelve years later, Rose moved West and found the constant sunlight and postcard-perfect scenery of southern California ideal for setting up shop as an easel painter. He took advantage of his proximity to the sea and made excursions to the coast whenever possible. He actively sought the solitude of the ocean and its quaint sleepy seaside hamlets. Most of his California seascapes during this period are devoid of any figures. Painting up and down the California coast, Rose's paintings of La Jolla appear less often that his Carmel and Monterey seascapes.
It must have been a spot favored by the artist, as Rose painted at least three different scenes from this same vantage point along the La Jolla coast. In fact, in the spirit of his mentor Claude Monet, Rose was known to paint the same scene at different times of the day. Will South writes in his 1995 book 'Guy Rose, American Impressionist ' that a comparison could be made in these works to Claude Monet's focus on capturing the same scene in a variety of different lighting conditions. During his years in Giverny, Rose was sure to have many opportunities to study Monet's variations of Haystacks, Rouen Cathedral and London's Houses of Parliament.
This work reflects Rose's interest in capturing the serenity of the California coast. The wispy clouds and gentle breaking of the waves combine to deliver what one can imagine as a warm, inviting day along the La Jolla coast. The technique looks distinctly influenced by the French Impressionist in its brushwork and high key palette.