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Thaddeus Welch, American, (1844–1919)

California Green Hills

Oil on board
in. (cm)
A Gift from the Collection of Alva A. Christensen and Helen B. Christensen
Accession Number: 2000.046

Welch became known as the painter of Marin, where he lived; perhaps this is a scene from that area, although it could be almost anywhere in Coastal California. Why is this simple oil-on-board painting of a hillside in Springtime so engaging? The mood feels sunny and peaceful. We want to walk out of the tall grass where we stand and wander through the meadow over into the quiet shade of the oak trees. The little touches of warmth here and there give depth to the green countryside. In a convention he used often in his landscapes, Welch paints tonalist hills receding in the background behind the foreground subject.

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