William Wendt (American, 1865-1946) Montecito 40 x 55in overall: 51 x 66in (Painted in 1909)

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Lot 49
William Wendt
(American, 1865-1946)
Montecito 40 x 55in overall: 51 x 66in

Sold for US$ 365,000 inc. premium
William Wendt (American, 1865-1946)
Montecito
signed and dated 'Wm Wendt 09' (lower right)
oil on canvas
40 x 55in
overall: 51 x 66in
Painted in 1909

Footnotes

  • Exhibited
    Jean Stern, Palette of Light, California Paintings from The Irvine Museum, Irvine, 1995, illustrated in color on title page.

    Literature
    Joan Irvine Smith, A California Woman's Story, Irvine, 2006, p. 440-441, illustrated in color.

    Will South, In Nature's Temple, The Life and Art of William Wendt, Irvine, 2008, p. 101, illustrated in color.


    William Wendt first visited Montecito, California in 1894 with fellow artist, George Gardner Symons. Although they could stay only briefly, Wendt dreamed of returning and did so many times in the years to come. The combination of endless vistas and the legendary climate inspired Wendt, as it did for many of his contemporaries. Montecito is a large work and captures an expansive scene. It is no coincidence that Wendt painted this composition in such considerable scale. He must have felt that only an enormous canvas could capture such an expansive scene. As always, his attention to detail is uncanny. One can see every crevice in the foreground rocks. Each tree trunk reveals a multitude of colors, while the middle distance and beyond are minutely filled with color and light, creating a topographically accurate and convincing scene that could only be matched by standing witness to the very spot on which it was painted. His variety of earth tones in the various plains, mixed with the blue of the Pacific Ocean, create a quilt-like pattern of color and light. The scene is mesmerizing and the scale overwhelming. It is believed that Wendt exhibited this painting in Chicago, along with five other canvases that were completed on the same trip to the Santa Barbara area.
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