Welcome to the William A. Karges Fine Art Blog

Welcome to the William A. Karges Fine Art Blog, where you'll be able to learn about Early California and Southwest Paintings and discover information about Museum Exhibitions, Current News, Events, and our gallery's new acquisitions of original paintings created between 1870 and 1940 by a wide variety of artists. We'll feature biographies, photographs, links to websites of interest to collectors, video tours, and detailed histories of some of California's most influential and intriguing artists. Visit our Gallery at Dolores & Sixth Ave in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California to view our collection of fine paintings in person.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Southern California Impressionist Joseph Kleitsch

Joseph Kleitsch
(1882 - 1931)

Joseph Kleitsch is considered to be one of the most important and influential of the early Southern California Impressionists.  Born in Hungary in 1882, he began painting at age seven, and trained in Budapest, Munich and Paris.  By the age of 17, he was an accomplished portraitist, with sitters such as Franz Josef of Austria.  Furthering his studies, Kleitsch immigrated to the United States around 1901, first setting in Ohio, then in Denver in 1905.  He married his first wife, Emma Multner, in October of 1904 and they moved to Mexico City in 1909.  His outstanding portraits of Mexico's President Francisco Madero were highly regarded.  In 1913 his wife, Emma, passed away.

After 1914 Klietsch painted many prominent local citizens while studying at the Art Institute of Chicago.  He became a teacher at the well known school, where he taught until 1919, and was awarded the Gold Medal in 1914 when he exhibited his work there. In 1914 he married an art teacher named Edna Gregatis, and their son Eugene was born in 1915.

Settling in Laguna Beach in 1920, he established the Kleitsch Academy of Art. He had become acquainted in Chicago with the important southern California Impressionist painter, Edgar Payne, who had already settled in the Laguna Beach area.  Kleitsch's California works, exhibited at the Stendahl Galleries in Los Angeles, were focused on the landscape, gardens, and architecture around his home in Laguna Beach, as well as coastal scenes.  He traveled to various locations in California including Carmel, Mission San Juan Capistrano and San Francisco in search of interesting and inspiring subjects.

Joseph Kleitsch
"Laguna Coastline"

He traveled to Europe between 1926 and 1929, including to Giverny, France, where he was inspired by the dramatic setting of Claude Monet's acclaimed works.

Joseph Kleitsch
"Canteloupe, Paris, 1927"

Kleitsch, a master colorist, is celebrated for his bold, energetic brushwork, and his unique and elegant style.  He often painted outdoors, “en plein-air”, and was one of the founders of the Painters' and Sculptors' Club in 1923.  Throughout the course of his successful career, he also was a member of the Chicago Society of Artists, The Palette and Chisel Club of Chicago, and the Laguna Beach Art Association.  His work was awarded the Grand Prize and the Figure Prize by Laguna Beach Art Association.

Joseph Kleitsch
"Laguna, 1925"

His paintings can be found in the collections of the Laguna Beach Museum of Art, the Irvine Museum, and the Fleischer Museum.

Kleitsch died on November 16th, 1931 at the age of forty-nine of a heart attack, while he was in front of the Courthouse in Santa Ana, California.

Joseph Kleitsch
"Pont St. Michel, 1927"
Oil on canvas
21 x 18 inches

“Pont St. Michel”, shown above, depicts the famous bridge in Paris, originally constructed in 1378, that links the Place Saint-Michel on the left bank of the river Seine to the Ile de la Cite.

For additional information about this artist, call William A. Karges Fine Art at (800) 833-9185, email to gallery@kargesfineart.com, or visit our website at www.kargesfineart.com/joseph-kleitsch

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Paul de Longpre "The King of Flower Painters"

Paul de Longpre was born in Lyon, France in 1855 to the Maucherat de Longpre family. The textile-design industry was an important commercial sector in Lyon, and there were numerous artists known for their skills at painting flowers.  He was certainly exposed to their works as a child, and was likely inspired by the subject matter as he began drawing floral images at a very young age. By the age of 12, de Longpre was earning an income painting flowers on fans for a Parisian firm.

He became a student in Paris at the respected Ecole des Beaux Arts and his paintings were becoming more popular and were enjoyed by a larger audience.  His early success continued with acceptance of a painting by the Paris Salon.  De Longpre was a well known artist in Paris when he moved to New York in 1890.

Paul de Longpre
"Still Life with Violets and Poppies"

His artistic skills continued to develop during this period while he worked as a commercial illustrator and created plein-air paintings in the surrounding non-urban areas.  He was also considered to be a talented musician, composing sixteen works between 1891 and 1907.  His artistic career continued to grow and his works were praised by the public at his first New York exhibition in 1896.  He began to reproduce his most popular works as lithographs, which reached a broader audience and increased his fame and celebrity. Large numbers of these prints survive today.

Watercolor painting by Early California Artist Paul de Longpre
Paul de Longpre

Attracted by the beauty of the landscape and the variety of flowers in Southern California, de Longpre and his family moved to Los Angeles in 1898. By this point in his career, he was a relatively wealthy man and was able to build an extravagant home there at Cahuenga and Hollywood Boulevard.  The large estate included tended gardens that became a tourist attraction, drawing some 25,000 visitors each year. Painting floral scenes almost exclusively with watercolors, de Longpre found inspiration in the 4,000 rose bushes he had on his estate. His fame increased and a street was even named after him, De Longpre Avenue in Hollywood.

Paul de Longpres
"Roses, Bumblebees and Bird"

He was an industrious and very active artist throughout this period of his career as he continued to produce chromolithographic prints and taught students the nuances of watercolor painting.  He died at the relatively young age of fifty-six, famous and popular, and is remembered to this day as “The King of Flower Painters”.

Paul de Longpre

For additional information, call our Carmel, CA gallery at (800) 833-9185, email us at gallery@kargesfineart.com, or visit www.kargesfineart.com.

To view a large group of paintings by this important artist, please visit:
Karges Fine Art - Paul de Longpre