William Wendt (American, 1865-1946) There is no solitude in nature 34 x 36in (overall: 46 x 48in)

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Lot 42
William Wendt
(American, 1865-1946)
There is no solitude in nature 34 x 36in

Sold for US$ 269,000 inc. premium
William Wendt (American, 1865-1946)
There is no solitude in nature
signed 'William Wendt' (lower right)
oil on canvas
34 x 36in
overall: 46 x 48in


  • Provenance
    Private collection, Texas.
    With The Redfern Gallery, Laguna Beach, California.

    Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago, Oil Paintings and Sculpture, Twentieth Annual Exhibition, October 22 - December 1, 1907.
    Laguna Beach, Laguna Art Museum, California Light 1900 - 1930, traveling exhibition, 1990 - 1991.
    Montclair, New Jersey, Montclair Art Museum, California Light, April 21, 1991 - June 2, 1991.
    Laguna Beach, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna's Hidden Treasures: Art from Private Collections, March 13 - July 10, 2005.
    Irvine, The Irvine Museum, All Things Bright & Beautiful, Paintings from The Irvine Museum, traveling exhibition, 2008 - 2009.
    Irvine, The Irvine Museum, All Things Bright & Beautiful, The National Tour Comes Home, November 10, 2010 – June 11, 2011.
    Irvine, The Irvine Museum, Autumns Glory, Winter's Grace, September 29, 2012 – January 17, 2013.

    The Art Institute of Chicago, Catalogue of the Twentieth Annual Exhibition of Oil Paintings and Sculpture by American Artists, 1907, p. 54, listed as number 429.
    National Academy of Design, Winter Show, 1914, listed as number 139.
    Art of California Magazine, November 1990 issue, p. 18, illustrated in color.
    John Alan Walker, Documents on the Life and Art of William Wendt (1865-1946), California's Painter Laureate of the Paysage Moralise, Big Pine, 1992, p. 193, item 708.
    Jean Stern, Reflections of California, The Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Memorial Exhibition, Irvine, 1994, p. 114, illustrated in color.
    William H. Gerdts, California Impressionism, New York, 1998, p. 82, illustrated in color.
    William H. Gerdts, All Things Bright & Beautiful, California Paintings from The Irvine Museum, Irvine, 1998, p. 149, illustrated in color.
    Jean Stern, California This Golden Land of Promise, Irvine, 2001, p. 298, illustrated in color.
    Jean Stern, Masters of Light, Plein Air Painting in California 1890-1930, Irvine, 2002, p. 33, illustrated in color.
    Joan Irvine Smith, A California Woman's Story, Irvine, 2006, p. 173, illustrated in color, back dust jacket illustration.
    Will South, In Nature's Temple, The Life and Art of William Wendt, Irvine, 2008, p. 20, illustrated full page color, p. 74, illustrated full page color detail, p. 240, illustrated full page color, p. 299, note on derivation of title, back dust jacket illustration.

    William Wendt was a master at capturing the majesty of the California landscape. His works reflect a deep reverence for the sanctity of the natural world. Moreover, when we look at paintings by Wendt, we rejoice in the penetrating beauty and profound role that honoring California's pristine landscape plays in our lives.

    It comes as no coincidence that the artist often associated poetry with his paintings. There is No Solitude in Nature is an example of one of those paintings. According to a note by Jean Stern from In Nature's Temple, the title of this painting comes from a line in Philosophical letters of Frederick Schiller, Letter IV, Julius to Raphael:

    How strange all seems to me now, Raphael! Now all seems peopled round about me. To me there is no solitude in nature. Wherever I trace movement I infer thought. Where no dead lie buried, where no resurrection will be, Omnipotence speaks to me this through His works, and thus I understand the doctrine of the omnipresence of God.

    The contrast between the seemingly silent composition and the sharp, crisp, vibrant brushwork is virtually deafening. Wendt has succeeded in capturing the perfect balance between the heavens and the earth in this well-known painting from the artist's oeuvre. Standing in front of this painting, one is instantly convinced of the magic of nature. The rocky outcroppings on the left are perfectly balanced with the offset moon and distant mountains on the right. The attention to detail in the shadows and nuances of the topography are uncanny. Painted in 1906, the same year in which he married Julie Bracken, this painting is an example of Wendt at the height of his talents.

    According to John Alan Walker's archives, this painting depicts a scene in Laguna Canyon looking north towards Saddleback Mountain.
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