Franz Arthur Bischoff (1864-1929) Highland Drive, Monterey Coast 30 x 40 1/4in overall: 34 x 44in

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Lot 42
Franz Arthur Bischoff
(1864-1929)
Highland Drive, Monterey Coast 30 x 40 1/4in overall: 34 x 44in

Sold for US$ 100,000 inc. premium
Franz Arthur Bischoff (1864-1929)
Highland Drive, Monterey Coast
signed 'Franz A Bischoff' (lower right), signed, titled, and inscribed 'F A Bischoff/S Pasadena' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
30 x 40 1/4in
overall: 34 x 44in

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Private collection, Dearborn, Michigan.
    Thence by descent to the present owner.

    Franz Bischoff was born in the small town of Bomen, Austria in 1864. He demonstrated an early artistic inclination and took his initial training in Bomen. Bischoff continued his studies in Vienna, focusing on applied design, watercolor painting, and ceramic decoration. Following a short time of study Dresden, Bischoff moved to New York at the age of 21. In the following years he married and moved to Dearborn, Michigan. Bischoff set up his own studio in Michigan where he taught classes and produced painted ceramic work of extraordinary quality.

    In 1900, Bischoff made a fateful trip to California. He was so impressed by the climate and the scenery and that he moved his family to California in 1906. Around this time, Bischoff began intensive easel painting. He built his home and studio in Pasadena (completed in 1908) and spent nearly all of 1912 in Europe where his studies took him to London, Paris, Munich, Capri, Naples and Rome. While he was abroad, Bischoff mostly studied the Impressionists and the Old Masters. Bischoff's California paintings were not just limited to Southern California. He made trips up and down the coast from Laguna Beach to Monterey as well as trips to the Sierras and even further afield. Some of Bischoff's most celebrated works were done of the transcendent scenery found on the Monterey Peninsula.

    Highland Drive, Monterey Coast, brings together decades of artistic influence. The structure and composition of the painting is reminiscent of Impressionist works like Claude Monet's seascapes from the late 1880s. Like many of his later landscapes, Highland Drive, Monterey Coast shows Fauvist influences in its palette. The Fauves (French for 'Wild Beasts') used intense color in a violent and uncontrolled way. The washes of teal and mustard yellow in the center right of the picture would not be out of place on one of Maurice de Vlaminck's or Andre Derain's landscapes from just after the turn of the century. Bischoff places these bold and bright colors into a landscape crafted with the more naturalistic palette favored by the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. For example, the teal and yellow are echoed by the green and fuchsia on the promontory in the distance.


    Highland Drive, Monterey Coast stands out amongst Bischoff's landscapes for its inclusion of the human element: the Spanish houses in the distance. The white walls and brick-red roofs of the houses contrast with the bright blue background of the hills, lending a sense of depth to the painting while introducing a human scale to the grandeur.

    In contrast to Bischoff's ceramics, where he created layers of color that were flattened by the heat of the kiln, the geologic layers of paint in his oil paintings could remain apparent to the viewer. The most powerful example of this in Highland Drive, Monterey Coast is in the group of rocks center right, where layer upon layer of contrasting colors allow a rainbow of vibrating hues to peek through. Highland Drive, Monterey Coast is an expression of an artist who mastered multiple mediums and whose vision as a colorist imbued his work with a quality that still resonates today.
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