Chinese Fishing Village, Monterey Bay, California

 
Artist
Creation date
Materials
oil on canvas
Dimensions
22 x 27 in. 27-1/4 x 32-1/2 in. (framed)
Credit line
Gift of Evans Woollen, Stoughton Fletcher, Mrs. Edward Daniels, Mrs. E.F. Hodges and Dr. Mary Spink
Accession number
09.400
Collection
Currently On View

This canvas contains the broken light and color of the Impressionists, but its modulated hues create a quiet, contemplative mood.

Brown served as professor of art at Stanford University during the time this work was painted.

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Bolton Coit Brown: Outdoorsman and Painter of the California Landscape

Bolton Coit Brown was the founder of the art department at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, and a founder of the Woodstock Art Colony in New York. Brown received his painting degrees from Syracuse University in New York. For more than a decade, he served as Professor of Art at Stanford University in California, where he became chairman of the university’s department of drawing and painting. He resigned after being chastised for using nude models in his advanced life-drawing class. Brown took up mountain climbing, making maps and drawings of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. He climbed and named Mount Ericsson and Mount Stanford. Mount Bolton Brown was named after him in 1922, and Lucy Pass was named after his wife, who was also a mountaineer. Throughout these daring exploits, Brown continued to paint.

During his tenure at Stanford University, Brown painted this view of Monterey Bay. While he never travelled abroad, Brown’s art certainly came under the influence of French Impressionism, which he probably absorbed from his many artist friends. Chinese Fishing Village makes use of the broken light and color of the Impressionists, yet it remains a painting of subtly modulated hues that achieve a quiet, contemplative mood. In this sense, the landscape is close to those of Brown’s contemporaries, Henry Ward Ranger, Chauncey Foster Ryder, and Dwight Tryon, whose interests were in atmosphere and tone rather than the bright colors of the Impressionists.

Adams, Clinton. Crayonstone: The Life and Work of Bolton Brown. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1993.