Bougainvillea, Capistrano Mission, 1923 signed, dated and inscribed 'Joseph Kleitsch / Capistrano / 1923' (lower right) oil on canvas 30 x 24in overall: 40 1/4 x 34 1/4in
PROVENANCE: With Redfern Gallery, Laguna Beach, California
EXHIBITED: San Juan Capistrano, Romance of the Bells, the California Mission in Art, June 17 - October 14, 1995, traveling exhibition. Irvine, The Irvine Museum, Majestic California, September 9, 2006 - January 13, 2007. Irvine, The Irvine Museum, Selections from the Irvine Museum, October 6, 2009 - February 13, 2010. Irvine, The Irvine Museum, All Things Bright and Beautiful, The National Tour Comes Home, November 10, 2010 - June 11, 2011.
LITERATURE: Stern, Jean, Romance of the Bells, the California Mission in Art, Irvine, 1995, p. 44, illustrated in color. Trenton, Patricia, Joseph Kleitsch: A Kaleidoscope of Color, Irvine, 2007, p. 8, detail illustration, p. 138, illustrated in color.
Hungarian-born artist Joseph Kleitsch has been acclaimed as one of the outstanding California plein-air painters of his time. He is praised for his sensitive portraits, masterful still lifes, and brilliantly colored impressionistic paintings of Southern California, in particular those of Laguna and Mission San Juan Capistrano. Kleitsch created what one critic described as "veritable singing tapestries of color." His keen eye and deep reverence for nature gave us a magnificent legacy that could never be duplicated.
In the early 1920s, Kleitsch began extended sketching trips to San Juan Capistrano mission. The appeal of the colorful gardens and the subtle loveliness of the mission walls and cloisters gave rise to a number of strikingly beautiful paintings, like Bougainvillea, Mission San Juan Capistrano. Here, Kleitsch's eye caught the deep red bougainvillea cascading over the mission's rough adobe brick wall. With an impressionistic style employing staccato brush strokes of vivid colors, he skillfully captures this scene in the brilliant natural light while the mission wall is left in deep shadow. His talents are on display as he has effectively blended the color and the tranquility of the setting.
We are grateful to Patricia Trenton, Ph.D for this note.