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Documentation Signed
Documentation Notes Signed lower left.
Origin United States, Pennsylvania
Period 1920-1949
Materials Oil on canvas. Complemented by a period hand carved and gilt frame.
Dimensions
W. 40 in; H. 32 in;
W. 101.6 cm; H. 81.28 cm;
Creation Date 1924
Description Edward W. Redfield (1869-1965)
Spring on the Delaware

Edward W. Redfield was born in Bridgeville, Delaware, moving to Philadelphia as a young child. Determined to be an artist from an early age, he studied at the Spring Garden Institute and the Franklin Institute before entering the Pennsylvania Academy from 1887 to 1889, where he studied under Thomas Anshutz, James Kelly and Thomas Hovenden. Along with his friend and fellow artist, Robert Henri, he traveled abroad in 1889 and studied at the Academie Julian in Paris under William Bouguereau and Tony Robert- Fleury. While in France, Redfield met Elise Deligant, the daughter of an innkeeper, and the couple married in London in 1893.

Upon his return to the United States, Redfield and his wife settled in Glenside, Pennsylvania. He would remain there until 1898, when he would move his family to Center Bridge, a town several miles north of New Hope, along the Delaware River. Redfield painted prolifically in the 1890s but it was not until the beginning of the twentieth century that he would develop the bold impressionist style that would define his career. As Redfield's international reputation spread, many young aspiring artists gravitated to New Hope. He was a great inspiration and an iconic role model. He remained in Center Bridge throughout his long life fathering his six children there.

Around 1905-1906, Redfield’s style was coming into its own employing thick vigorous brushstrokes tightly woven and layered with a multitude of colors. It is these large plein-air canvases which define the essence of Pennsylvania Impressionism. By 1907 Redfield had perfected his craft and from this point forward was creating some of his finest work.

Redfield would once again return to France where he painted a small but important body of work between 1907 and 1908. While there, he would receive an Honorable Mention from the Paris Salon for one of these canvases. In 1910 he was awarded a Gold Medal at the prestigious Buenos Aires Exposition. At the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco of 1915, an entire gallery was dedicated for twenty-one of his paintings.

Since Redfield painted for Exhibition with the intent to win medals, his best efforts often went into his larger paintings. Although Redfield painted many fine smaller pictures, virtually all of his major awards winning canvases were of exhibition sizes 38x50 or 50x56 inches. If one was to assign a period of Redfield’s work that was representative of his “best period”, it would have to be from 1907 -1925. Although he was capable of creating masterpieces through the late1940s, his style fully matured by 1907 and most work from then through the early twenties was consistently high in quality. In latter 1920s, through the1930s and 1940s, he was like most other great artists, creating some paintings that were superb examples and others that were more ordinary.

Redfield earned an international reputation at a young age. Known for accurately recording nature with his canvases and painting virtually all of his work outdoors, Redfield was one of a rare breed. He was regarded as the pioneer of impressionist winter landscape painting in America, having few if any equals. Redfield spent summers in Maine, first at Boothbay Harbor, and beginning in the 1920s, on Monhegan Island. There he painted colorful marine and coastal scenes as well as the islands landscape and fishing shacks. He remained active painting and also making Windsor furniture and hooked rugs until the age of eighty. He died in Center Bridge, Pennsylvania at ninety six.

Redfield, along with Garber, is considered a premiere figure among the Pennsylvania Impressionist painters. While in the prime of his career considered to be of international greatness, his place in the future of American Art history is yet to be defined. With the exception of John Singer Sargent, Redfield is said to have won more prizes, awards and medals than any other American artist of the twentieth century. His work is in the permanent collections of many museums throughout the United States and abroad.

Sources: New Hope for American Art by James M. Alterman
Styles / Movements Hudson River School, Impressionism
Incollect Reference Number 491933
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