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  • by Michele McFaull

Granville Redmond

Scarlet fever as a child left Granville Redmond (1871-1935) deaf. He nonetheless persevered and managed to achieve a life in the arts. After attending the San Francisco School of Design and studying in Paris at the Academie Julian, Redmond supported his painting by acting. He appeared in seven Charlie Chaplin films, during which their friendship bonded over their mutual focus on pantomime, an art-form taught to Redmond at the California School for the Deaf in Berkeley.

Redmond is one of the first painters to be collected by the Club, a collection that consists of three Redmond plein air landscapes. The first, California Landscape—Oaks and Meadows (c. 1905), was purchased for five hundred dollars, which can be claimed as the Club’s oldest purchased painting.

The Redmond featured here is Late Afternoon, California Foothills, a 1910 oil on canvas. This early work illustrates Redmond testing his facility with Impressionist brush strokes. The mottled colors in the foreground easily lead the viewer’s eye to the mid-ground native oaks, and skyward to the rugged horizon of radiant snow-capped peaks. The clearly contrasted earthbound flora with the lighter sun-glazed skies captured the contemporary belief that landscapes illustrated a higher power calling the shots. Redmond’s reputation for moodiness is reflected in the dark tonalities, but his hope for the future rests in the peaking sunset.

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