Edward Willis Redfield

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Edward Willis Redfield
Portrait of Edward Willis Redfield.jpg
Portrait of Edward W. Redfield by Thomas Eakins
Born (1869-12-18)December 18, 1869
Bridgeville, Delaware, U.S.
Died October 19, 1965(1965-10-19) (aged 95)
Nationality American
Education Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Académie Julian, École des Beaux-Arts
Known for Impressionism, Landscape art
Black-and-white reproduction of "The Canal, Evening" by Edward Willis Redfield.

Edward Willis Redfield (December 18, 1869 – October 19, 1965) was an American Impressionist landscape painter and member of the art colony at New Hope, Pennsylvania. He is best known today for his impressionist scenes of the New Hope area, often depicting the snow-covered countryside.

Redfield was born in 1869 in Bridgeville, Delaware. He showed artistic talent at an early age, and from 1887 to 1889 studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. While there he met Robert Henri, who was later to become an important American painter of the Ashcan School, and the two became lifelong friends. Redfield later traveled to France and studied at the Académie Julian and the École des Beaux-Arts. In Europe, Redfield admired the work of impressionist painters Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, and Norwegian Fritz Thaulow. In France he met Elise Deligant, the daughter of an innkeeper, and the two married in 1893.

Redfield and his wife returned to America and settled in Centre Bridge, Pennsylvania, near New Hope. Redfield was the first painter to move to the area, and is sometimes considered a co-founder of the artist colony at New Hope along with William Langson Lathrop.

The impressionist landscapes of Edward Redfield are noted for their bold application of paint and vibrant color. Redfield painted en plein air, directly from nature rather than in a studio. He would often carry a large canvas into the snow, set it on an easel, and vigorously paint an entire scene in one standing over the course of a day. His works were exhibited nation-wide, and twenty-seven of them were featured at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915) in San Francisco, an important venue for artists of the time.

Redfield was a harsh critic of his own art. In 1947 he burned a large number of his paintings that he considered sub-standard. It was around that time that he stopped painting. Redfield died on October 19, 1965. Today his paintings are in many major museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC.

Further reading[edit]

  • Kimmerle, Constance (2004). Edward W. Redfield: Just Values and Fine Seeing. Philadelphia: James A. Michener Art Museum and University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0-8122-3843-5. 
  • Peterson, Brian H. (Editor) (2002). Pennsylvania Impressionism. Philadelphia: James A. Michener Art Museum and University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0-8122-3700-5. 

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