Granville Redmond (American, 1871-1935)
Patch of Poppies, 1912
Oil on canvas 26 in. x 36 in. (66.04 cm x 91.44 cm)
Crocker Art Museum, Melza and Ted Barr Collection2010.2.1
Granville Redmond produced a body of work that captured California’s diverse topography, vegetation, and color. Born in Philadelphia, he was deafened by scarlet fever as a toddler. Soon after, the family moved to San Jose, California, and in 1879 he became a student at the California School for the Deaf in Berkeley, where he studied under artists Theophilus Hope d’Estrella and Douglas Tilden. He also studied at the California School of Design in San Francisco under Raymond Dabb Yelland, Amédée Joullin, and Arthur Mathews. Mathews in particular influenced Redmond’s early work in its tonal palette and compositional simplicity. Redmond then continued his studies at the Académie Julian in Paris. After more than four years in France, he returned to California and settled in Los Angeles in 1898. Though he was saddened to leave France, Redmond was inspired by the beauty of the California landscape. Many of his landscape paintings were in subdued tones, depicting land and sea at twilight or under softening veils of mist. The artist himself preferred to paint such scenes, but his poppy subjects were his most popular. In many early works, as in the painting Patch of Poppies, he managed to combine both impulses by including flowers in tonal settings. Many of Redmond’s colleagues felt that these introspective, tonal paintings elicited a sense of quietude informed both by his deafness and his contemplative nature. For others, the riotous color of his purely Impressionist works seemed to evoke his “great capacity for happiness.”1
1. A. V. Ballin, “Granville Redmond, Artist,” Silent Worker (November 1925), 90.