Lush with greenery sought throughout California by the Plein Air painters, this high canyon perspective by Marion Wachtel from life echoes the exclusive island’s long-recognized rugged beauty. Located in one of the interior draws, a rancho and barn are located in the chaparral foothills. We believe this is a view of Middle Ranch, from the summit road above Avalon.
Marion and her husband Elmer traveled extensively, painting the warm light and clear color that the Southland offered in abundance. The Wachtels would come to know Southern California’s unique beauty and infinite variety better than most. In there late 1920s recorded visit to Catalina, they both produced paintings which were highly appreciated by their clients of the period as well as sophisticated collectors today.
This painting comes from her estate, where it had remained for decades, and carries the estate stamp after her original signature. It is our strong belief that Marion painted this view from life, before Elmer’s passing in 1929, and she shelved it and her profession for a period in sincere mourning. This is accented by the fact that it is an oil, as she painted most often in watercolor, but the wet travel to and from catalina would have had less impact on the more permanent oil medium. It is a fine example of her ability to capture natural color. Especially radiant are the golden California Poppies, the state flower once quite prolific through the region.
Provenance: Estate of the Artist, Montecito, California.
The Title of the Painting & the Wachtel Estate Stamp Are on the Reverse of the Canvas
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