Thursday, 26 April 2012

Emile Gruppe: Nymphmania

Emile Albert Gruppe 
(1896 - 1978)

American landscape painter. 

was born in Rochester New York to Helen and Charles P. Gruppe. He lived the early years of his life in the Netherlands as his father Charles Paulo Gruppe, painted with the Hague school of art and acted as a dealer for the Dutch painters in the US. 

The family returned permanently to the states around 1913 when rumblings of World War I were brewing. All of Emile’s siblings established themselves in the arts. His oldest brother Paulo played the cello, his other brother Karl became a sculptor and his younger sister Virginia a watercolorist.
In the early 1930’s Emile found his way to the fishing town of Gloucester Massachusetts and to the area known as Rocky Neck, one of the oldest artist communities in the US. 
Here he established his home and The Gloucester School of Painting (1940-1970) in an old school house with his mentor John Fabian Carlson. 
What nobody knows is that behind his home there was this ancient pond were one early summers morning Emile witnessed an unearthly ritual. 
Since that morning on many occasions he returned, quietly sitting down and painting the Arcadia like surroundings and the idyllic creatures, nymphs, water spirits that for centuries secretly visited his pond.
This last paragraph of course sprouting from the romantic brain of the Linosaurus. But besides being a noted and serious American landscape painter Gruppe obviously was very much charmed by these lovely and mythic creatures.
He must have been a nice chap. I came across his Nymphs paintings preparing the recent Bathers and Printmakers postings and shown here together (I think a first) I hope they amuse you as much as they do me. I mean, I like Anders Zorn's Nordic women, but maybe I like Gruppe's nymphs even better. They have a far more imaginative power. And, female readers, as you well know, that is afterall when the male's brain functions best.
Showing just one of his many "other" paintings, this River Seine, Pont d'Ilena and Eiffel tower  painted in the tradition of the great impressionists  maybe making you curious enough to investigate Emile Gruppe, the landscape painter further. It's my no.1 favorite. Great atmosphere, colors and perspective. And quoting Frank Brangwyn: there's really nothing to beat a bridge for imposing perspective. Iconic location. Not a well known painting, let alone famous. But had it been painted by Claude Monet however ..................
(Text, (biograpy) shamelessly borrowed and reblogged but with the most honest of intentions from the Emile Gruppe Gallery and Wikipedia).    

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