Born in Germany, William Wendt started his artistic practice making furniture in his home country. Upon emigrating to the United States, he turned his focus to painting.
Wendt was among the landscapists who comprised the Eucalyptus School of painters, named for the trees commonly seen in California. These artists applied the looseness of French Impressionism to renderings of the unique geography of California. Wendt was also associated with the Arts and Crafts movement in the state, which espoused a belief in making art in harmony with nature. Among his peers, Wendt was known as the “Dean of Southern California landscape painters,” and his commitment to celebrating the natural beauty of his surroundings continues to inspire generations of West Coast painters.
An exciting addition to our July 14th sale is an oil on canvas painting by California artist William Wendt. Largely self-taught, Wendt often employed a plein-air method while painting his naturalistic landscapes. For the piece in our sale, Wendt traveled north of his Laguna Beach studio to capture an overcast day at the beach in Monterey. The image includes his trademark painterly brushstrokes and prominent use of green tones. Along with his wife, sculptor Julia Bracken Wendt, and a host of other prominent artists, Wendt founded the California Art Club in 1909, which remains an active fine arts organization in the state.