Spring Rain signed 'Guy Rose' (lower right) and titled (on the reverse) oil on canvas 15 x 18in overall: 20 x 23in
PROVENANCE: Private collection, Simi Valley, California
There is an old handwritten label on the stretcher bar which reads 'Guy Rose / Spring Rain'. The same title is also inscribed on the reverse of the canvas. There is an inscription on the back of the frame which reads 'Painted at Giverny, France on the Seine River'. The canvas is stamped by P. Foinet Fils & Lefebvre, Paris.
The travels and artistic training of Guy Rose are well documented and by any metric the importance of Monet and Giverny on Rose's work cannot be undervalued. Despite recurring health problems, which amongst other things necessitated a nearly ten year break from oil painting, Rose's brush was magnificently fertile in the years he spent in Giverny. With his wife Ethel, Rose acquired an old stone cottage at Giverny in 1904... on part of the property known as the sente des Grosses Eaux, located at the far west end of the village, a little over half a mile from the home of Monet. (Will South, Guy Rose: American Impressionist, p.37). Giverny sits on the "right bank" of the River Seine where the river Epte meets the Seine. Rose described the environs in part in 1897... long hillsides checkered with patches of different vegetable growths, slope down to low flat meadows through which runs the river Epte, bordered with stunted willows.
In Spring Rain Rose brings impressionist strategies of composition to bear including a nearly skyless landscape. The painting is highly atmospheric with a muted vaporous blue and green mixture blurring the distinction between ground and sky especially in the upper right corner. The midground is densely foliated and luxuriously textured with a dense impasto. Overall the painting is striking in its restrained use of tone to capture the transient moment as the rain comes over the hill. Ethel Rose wrote that her husband loved the country and was always happy when alone and occupied (South, p. 42). Spring Rain facilitates an easy step into the shoes of a happy and focused Rose painting not far from his home.