Joseph Kleitsch (1882-1931) Bathers Along the Seine, Vernon, France 28 x 34in overall: 38 1/2 x 44 1/2in (Painted in 1926)
Lot 57
Joseph Kleitsch
(1882-1931)
Bathers Along the Seine, Vernon, France 28 x 34in overall: 38 1/2 x 44 1/2in
Sold for US$ 137,500 inc. premium

Lot Details
Joseph Kleitsch (1882-1931)
Bathers Along the Seine, Vernon, France
signed, inscribed and dated 'JOSEPH KLEITSCH/FRANCE/1926' (lower right)
oil on canvas
28 x 34in
overall: 38 1/2 x 44 1/2in
Painted in 1926

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    with Stendahl Galleries, Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles, California, inv. no. 3457.
    Private estate, Tacoma, Washington.
    with George Stern Fine Arts, Los Angeles, California.
    Private collection, Los Angeles, California.

    Literature
    Patricia Trenton, Joseph Kleitsch: A Kaleidoscope of Color, Irvine, 2007, pl. 150, pp. 160-161 (half page color illustration).
    Patricia Trenton, The Golden Twenties: Portraits and Figure Paintings by Joseph Kleitsch, Pasadena, 2017, pp. 33, 124-125 (full page color illustration).

    Exhibited
    Los Angeles, Stendahl Art Galleries, Exhibition of Painting by Joseph Kleitsch, May 1928, no. 47 (as 'Bathing').
    Los Angeles, Exposition Park, The Los Angeles Museum presents a Memorial Exhibition of the work of Joseph Kleitsch, June 1 – 30, 1933, no. 17 (as 'Bathers')
    Pasadena, Pasadena Museum of California Art, The Golden Twenties: Portraits and Figure Paintings by Joseph Kleitsch, March 5, 2017 – August 6, 2017.

    In 1926, Joseph Kleitsch, a prominent and active painter in Laguna Beach and Los Angeles, felt a need to broaden his career and vision by travel and further European study. He had immigrated to the United States from Hungary thirteen years earlier, and with the blessings of his dealer Earl Stendahl he departed for Paris on February 14. From Paris he traveled to northern and southern Spain to study the Old Masters, especially Titian (c. 1488 – 1576) and Diego Velázquez (1599 -1660). When he returned to Paris, he had no specific plans or agenda but, fortuitously, met a fellow American artist, Abel George Warshawsky (1883 – 1962), an avid impressionist painter from Cleveland, Ohio. Warshawsky related his vivid observations of Vernon and Giverny, located in Normandy, France. Kleitsch was inspired by Warshawsky's enthusiasm for the village of Vernon, located just across the Seine from Giverny, which the latter he stated "seemed cramped and overcultivated" by the lure of Monet.

    The influence of Warshawsky's and Monet's impressionist paintings inspired Kleitsch to do more work in that mode. Stimulated by the Vernon countryside, Kleitsch painted a number of canvas with a more sensitive and poetic feeling, such as a family of bathers, some in the nude, on the grassy banks of the Seine, enjoying the cool waters on a hot summer day. His short, broken brushstrokes and soft colors of the artist's palette indicated that he was moving toward a more impressionistic style. The provocative nude bathers, with some partially clothed, are summarily treated, foretelling Kleitsch's treatment of figures in his later Laguna Beach scenes.

    We wish to thank Dr. Patricia Trenton for her kind assistance with cataloging the lot.
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