Edward W. Redfield (1869-1965), 'The Valley,' c.1924, oil on canvas, 50 1/2 x 56 3/8 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of Richard and Nadene Oliver. Featured in the exhibition From the Vault.
This week’s art selection was chosen to celebrate the long-awaited arrival of Spring. Edward Redfield was one of the most prominent American Impressionists associated with an art colony located in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Although he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts under William-Adolphe Bouguereau, a prominent academic painter of the nineteenth century, Redfield’s mature style owed more to Monet and the Impressionists, whose energetic brushstroke he witnessed firsthand in France.
At the time when many well-known American painters (such as the Ashcan School artists in New York) were celebrating the expanding urban areas of the country, others retreated to more secluded locations. Here, the vibrant palette and lively application of paint somewhat obscure the houses that line the banks of this river. It is as though the artist was inspired by a space where people and landscape existed in a natural harmony; tree, rivers, and humble human constructions blending together in reverent simplicity.