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Published: 7 November 2017

Artist Spotlight: Edward Willis Redfield

One of the most celebrated Pennsylvania impressionists of his time, Edward Willis Redfield built his reputation through painting powerful landscapes, which he almost exclusively executed en plein air. Well-versed in large-scale winter scenes, he often revisited this subject throughout his career, always paying great attention to light and color in order to best capture the beauty and the subtleties of the snow covered Pennsylvania countryside.

Following in the footsteps of French and Norwegian Impressionists such as Claude Monet and Frits Thaulow, Redfield further developed a style all his own. He would often brave the elements, rapidly executing his paintings straight onto the canvas with assertive, long and thick brush strokes, which echoed the artist’s rugged personality.

In 1898, the Redfield family purchased a farm in Center Bridge, Pennsylvania, which allowed Edward to study unique viewpoints, and differentiate his scenes from typical Hudson River views or classical European landscapes.

Freeman’s Dec. 3 American Art & Pennsylvania Impressionists sale will feature a painting by Redfield entitled “The Snow Storm.”

Executed in 1915, “The Snow Storm” was painted near the artist’s home and its compositional style is typical for Redfield. The winding, snow-covered road, upon which villagers pull a sled, stretches into the distance, conveying a sense of winter’s immenseness.

The palette is sparse; the artist only uses dove-grays, blue-grays and touches of lavender to render the quietness of the moment. Yet Redfield manages to animate the scene with carefully arranged touches of colors-on the hats of the villagers and barn façades-proving his ability to enliven a village muted by snow.

“The Snow Storm” painting will be accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity from the 'Associated Dealers in American Paintings,' as certified and signed by the artist, dated December 24, 1927. It will also be accompanied by the original bill of sale from J.J. Gillespie Company dated Jan. 1927, and by a letter from the artist dated November 28, 1944.

In addition “The Snow Storm” will also be included in Dr. Thomas Folk's forthcoming Catalogue Raisonné of the artist's work.

View more from the Dec. 3 American Art & Pennsylvania Impressionists auction. 

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