William Wendt (1865 – 1946) was a German-born American painter who was known for his bold and colorful landscapes. He spent much of his life painting the California landscape and his prominence earned him the title “the dean of Southern California artists”.
Many of his paintings feature lush trees, rolling hills and a beautiful sense of atmosphere. It seems he enjoyed using short, jabbing strokes of thick paint and bold color, especially towards the end of his career.
One of the most interesting aspects of Wendt’s paintings is how he utilized relatively hard edges to create these distinct shapes of color. This is similar to how Edgar Payne worked. Below is a perfect example of this. Notice in the mountains how Wendt did not soften the edges (as many artists would do), but instead left the edges relatively hard and used high-key colors to give a sense of atmospheric perspective.
Below are some more of his beautiful paintings:
If you enjoyed these paintings, then I recommend you check out In Nature’s Temple, the Life and Art of William Wendt. It is a 300 page book which features many of Wendt’s paintings in great detail.
Which is your favorite painting by William Wendt? My personal favorite is Gentle Evening Bendeth (the first painting in this post), mostly due to how he painted those mountains.
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