California Poppy Field

* Nearly 20,000 images of artworks the museum believes to be in the public domain are available to download on this site. Other images may be protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. By using any of these images you agree to LACMA's Terms of Use.

California Poppy Field

United States, circa 1926
Paintings
Oil on canvas
Canvas: 40 1/4 × 60 1/4 in. (102.24 × 153.04 cm) Frame: 44 3/4 × 64 3/4 × 3 1/4 in. (113.67 × 164.47 × 8.26 cm)
Gift of Raymond Griffith (40.7)
Not currently on public view

Curator Notes

Soon after developing his more brightly colored impressionist style during the early 1910s, Redmond became identified with his paintings of poppy fields, meeting a steady demand with not a few potboil...
Soon after developing his more brightly colored impressionist style during the early 1910s, Redmond became identified with his paintings of poppy fields, meeting a steady demand with not a few potboilers. It is easy to imagine why this subject should have become so popular, since the dry, nearly colorless native Southern California landscape offers nothing to compare with the broad expanses of poppies, lupine, and other wildflowers that transform the landscape with their brief springtime blossoming during several weeks in February and March. The carpet of bright flowers is seen against the more delicate colors of the brush and foliage that have been freshened by the winter rains. Like many others of his mature works, the museum’s exceptionally large and impressive example was painted on an especially rough fabric that adds to the strong sense of overall texture. Redmond’s brushstrokes, distinct, short dashes of color strongly suggesting intervening atmosphere, contribute to this sense of texture. Except for accents, such as the blooms in this painting, Redmond’s palette is usually deeper than that of many of the American impressionists. Its ownership by Raymond Griffith suggests a date for the museum’s painting of around the time of his association with the artist in 1926.
More...

About The Era

The late nineteenth century witnessed a growing cosmopolitanism and sophistication in American culture....
The late nineteenth century witnessed a growing cosmopolitanism and sophistication in American culture. Great riches were amassed by railroad tycoons and land barons, and along with this came the desire for a luxurious standard of living. Collectors filled their homes with European as well as American works of art. American artists, generally trained abroad, often painted in styles that were indistinguishable from their European counterparts.
Most Americans who studied abroad did so in the European academies, which promoted uplifting subject matter and a representational style that emphasized well-modeled, clearly defined forms and realistic color. Academic painting served American artists well, for their clients demanded elaborate large-scale paintings to demonstrate their wealth and social positions. With an emphasis on material objects and textures, academic artists immortalized their patrons’ importance in full-length portraits.
Academic painting dominated taste in Europe throughout the century. But in the 1860s impressionism emerged in France as a reaction to this hegemony. By the 1880s this “new painting” was still considered progressive. Mary Cassatt was the only American invited to participate in the revolutionary Paris impressionist exhibitions. Despite her participation and the early interest of several other American painters, few Americans explored impressionism until the 1890s. Impressionist painters no longer had to choose subject matter of an elevated character but instead could depict everyday scenes and incidents. Nor did impressionists have to record the physical world with the objective detail of a photograph. Artists were now encouraged to leave their studios and paint outside under different weather conditions. American impressionists used the new aesthetic to capture the charm and beauty of the countryside and the city as well as the quiet delicacy of domestic interiors.
More...

Bibliography

  • About the Era.
  • Moure, Nancy Dustin Wall. Painting and Sculpture in Los Angeles, 1900-1945. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1980.
  • Fort, Ilene Susan and Michael Quick.  American Art:  a Catalogue of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Collection.  Los Angeles:  Museum Associates, 1991.
  • About the Era.
  • Moure, Nancy Dustin Wall. Painting and Sculpture in Los Angeles, 1900-1945. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1980.
  • Fort, Ilene Susan and Michael Quick.  American Art:  a Catalogue of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Collection.  Los Angeles:  Museum Associates, 1991.
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art Members' Calendar 1993,  vol. 31, no. 1-11 (January-November, 1993).
  • Barron, Stephanie, S. Bernstein and I. S. Fort, with essays by Stephanie Barron, Sherri Bernstein, M. Dear, Howard N. Fox and Richard Rodriguez.  Made in California: Art, Image, and Identity, 1900-2000.  Los Angeles:  Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Berkeley:  University of California Press, Berkeley, 2000.

    View this publication in LACMA's Reading Room

  • The California pop-up book. New York: Universe Pub. in association with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2000.
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  New York: Thames and Hudson, 2003.
  • LACMA: Obras Maestras 1750-1950: Pintura Estadounidense Del Museo De Arte Del Condado De Los Angeles. Mexico, D.F.: Museo Nacional de Arte, 2006.
More...