Granville Seymour Redmond (1871-1935) Biography

Granville Seymour Redmond (1871-1935) 

 

Granville Redmond is known as one of the most prominent and successful "California Impressionists" of the early 20th century.

Redmond was born in Philadelphia but grew up in San Jose, California.  Scarlet fever left him profoundly deaf by age three, and he attended the California School for the Deaf from 1879 to 1890.  The School's art teacher, Theophilus D'Estrella, taught him painting, drawing and pantomime and encouraged him to pursue art studies.  Following graduation, Redmond enrolled in the San Francisco School of Design studying under Arthur Matthews and Amedee Joullion.  In 1893, he received funds from the School for the Deaf to attend at the Julian Academy in Paris where he studied with Benjamin Constant and Jean Paul Laurens.  In 1895, one of his large canvases was accepted at the Paris Salon.

Returning to California in 1898, Redmond settled in Los Angeles, and the next year he married Carrie Ann Jean, a graduate of the Illinois School for the Deaf.  The couple had three children.  During his early years in Los Angeles, Redmond painted mostly tonalist scenes of coastal areas such as Laguna Beach, Catalina Island, and San Pedro.  He was exhibiting his work at the annual Spring Exhibition in San Francisco by 1904, and quickly gained recognition as a leading California landscape artist.

From 1910 to 1917, Redmond lived and painted in various northern California locations including San Mateo, Monterey, and Belvedere.  By this time, his style had moved decisively toward impressionism and his technique toward pointillism.  He favored sweeping landscapes of rolling hills studded with mounding oaks or bright fields of golden poppies and blue lupines.

Redmond returned to Los Angeles in 1917 and continued to paint the bright, floral landscapes for which he was now famous.  The actor, Charlie Chaplin, was one of many who collected Redmond's paintings and the two became friends.  Redmond set up his studio on Chaplin's movie lot and assisted the actor in perfecting his pantomime technique.  Chaplin cast the artist in eight silent movies beginning with a role as dance hall manager in A Dog's Life in 1918 and concluding with his appearance as a sculptor in City Lights in 1931.

Redmond exhibited extensively around California and was a member of the Bohemian Club, California Art Club, Laguna Beach Art Association, and San Francisco Art Association.  He won medals at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904 and the Alaska-Yukon Pacific Exposition in 1909.  The Oakland Museum mounted a retrospective of Redmond's work in 1989.