Moonlight - Arch Beach, Laguna, circa 1916-1919 signed 'Guy Rose' (lower right) and titled 'Moonlight - Arch Beach / Laguna' (on the reverse) oil on canvas 24 x 29in overall: 33 1/4 x 38 1/4in
PROVENANCE: With Stendahl Galleries, Los Angeles, California, No. 821 Thence by descent since original purchase, circa 1920 Private collection, Southern California
The artistic work of Guy Rose can be appreciated as an evolution spurred on by the significant talents of a number of artists. In the late 1880's, Rose went to Paris to further his artistic education. He 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 delicate, quick freshness to his works. The result was a true, seasoned American Impressionist.
When Guy Rose returned to California in 1914, he brought with him a vast firsthand knowledge of what was happening in the art world in Europe as well as on the East Coast. This experience enabled the artist to work confidently with a broad array of compositions and colors. These works were to form the peak of his career.
Painting up and down the California coast, Rose visited Laguna Beach in 1915 and 1916. He 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 the quaint sleepy seaside hamlets that dot the coast.
His scenes of Laguna Beach appear less often than his Carmel and Monterey seascapes. Even more rare are his nocturnal compositions. In Moonlight Arch Beach, Laguna, Rose uses a restricted palette but still manages to magically draw color out of the night sky. The light of the moon dances on the water as it ebbs and flows, to and from the shoreline. One can almost hear the ocean as it gently moves in and out of view.
Another painting of the same scene, set in daylight, titled Laguna Rocks, Low Tide, can be found in the collection of Joan Irvine Smith.