Guy Rose (American, 1867-1925) Indian Tobacco Trees, La Jolla 24 x 29in (overall: 34 x 38 1/2in)

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Lot 39
Guy Rose
(American, 1867-1925)
Indian Tobacco Trees, La Jolla 24 x 29in

Sold for US$ 773,000 inc. premium
Guy Rose (American, 1867-1925)
Indian Tobacco Trees, La Jolla
signed 'Guy Rose' (lower right)
oil on canvas
24 x 29in
overall: 34 x 38 1/2in

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    With Stendahl Galleries, Los Angeles, California, number 1039.
    With Walter A. Nelson-Rees, Oakland, California.
    With Petersen Galleries, Beverly Hills, California.
    The Fieldstone Collection, Newport Beach, California.

    Exhibited
    Laguna Beach, Laguna Art Museum, California Light 1900 - 1930, Four City Tour 1990 - 1991.
    Montclair, New Jersey, Montclair Art Museum, California Light, April 21, 1991 - June 2, 1991.
    Oakland, The Oakland Museum, Guy Rose: American Impressionist, July 1 – September 24, 1995.
    Irvine, The Irvine Museum, Guy Rose: American Impressionist, October 20, 1995 – February 24, 1996.
    Irvine, The Irvine Museum, Lasting Impressions: Twenty Years of the Irvine Museum, January 26 – June 6, 2013.

    Literature
    Earl L. Stendahl, Guy Rose, Stendahl Art Galleries, Los Angeles, 1922, pl. 4, p. 14, illustrated, along with description.
    Patricia Trenton, California Light 1900 – 1930, Laguna Beach, 1990, cover illustration, p. 108, pl. 104, illustrated full page color, p. 189, exhibition note.
    William H. Gerdts, All Things Bright & Beautiful, California Paintings from The Irvine Museum, Irvine, 1998, p. 192, illustrated in color.
    David Wicinas, Native Grandeur: Preserving California's vanishing landscapes, Irvine, p. 25, illustrated in color.
    Jean Stern, Masters of Light, Plein Air Painting in California 1890-1930, Irvine, 2002, p. 41, illustrated in color.
    Jean stern,A California Woman's Story: The Autobiography of Joan Irvine Smith, Irvine, 2006, p. 288, illustrated in color.


    In the 1922 Stendahl Galleries catalogue, the author writes,
    A group of tobacco trees at the right, their sparkling, crinkly green leaves interspersed with yellow flowers, the blue sea beyond. Rich purple shadows run across the foreground, and a bit of white surf helps to make this picture one of bright happiness.

    Guy Rose visited San Diego in 1915 to attend the Panama-California Exposition, in newly-built Balboa Park. He was particularly taken by the small seaside community of La Jolla, just north of San Diego. Sometime late in 1915 or early 1916, he painted Indian Tobacco Trees. The painting shows a view of La Jolla Cove with its distinctive natural arch, which collapsed in 1978, in the left distance. In the foreground, Rose shows the viewer a cluster of Indian Tobacco trees (Nicotiana glauca), a species of wild tobacco, with its small brilliant yellow flowers.

    The intense Mediterranean light of the southern California coast radiates throughout the painting. The scene reflects the influence of Rose's earlier visit to Giverny, with his attention to color and how it explodes across the canvas in a cavalcade of impressionistic dabs of greens, yellows and purples. With no color spared, the composition is perfectly balanced as one draws their eye diagonally down the path, through the sun dappled shade, towards the rocky cliffs and on to the water's edge.

    Considered by many to be one of Rose's best seascapes, Indian Tobacco Trees exemplifies the allure of the Southern California coast and its magical light and shadow. No wonder that exhibitions and advertisements of such paintings helped draw throngs of young men and women to move West and settle in hamlets all along the California coast. As with William Wendt's Old Coast Road, Guy Rose's Indian Tobacco Trees became synonymous with the best of California plein air painting, having been chosen to grace the cover of the seminal 1990 Laguna Art Museum exhibition catalogue, California Light 1900-1930.
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