Sunday, March 09, 2008

Joseph Kleitsch

For some reason,
I've failed to pay much attention
to Joseph Kleitsch (1882-1931)

one of the most famous members of the P&C

(and doesn't the above Midwestern landscape
resemble what Ingerle, Krafft et al.
were doing around 1915 ?)

Maybe that's because in 1920
he moved to Laguna Beach, Ca.
and became one of the most famous
California Impressionists.

(But he was something of a gypsy,
and didn't live there
any longer than he did in Chicago.)

He did a great job with a moody ocean-sky-shore

and he painted the surf
like Monet, Renoir etc.

But what really carried his career
were his portraits,
which brought him from Hungary
to Germany
to Cincinnati
to Denver
to Mexico
to Hutchinson Kansas (?)
and finally to Chicago in 1914
where he joined the Palette and Chisel
and attended the Art Institute.
(note: he was a very active member of the P&C
as you will discover if you search his name
on this blog)

and wow,
what a figure painter!

I think he also worked
alla prima

and did plein aire
just like so many members of the P&C today

traveling around to find scenic views

and later spending 3 years in Europe.
(though I don't think our current crop of scenic painters
would focus on homeless people
living under a bridge in Paris)

and he did still life,
indeed most of what he did,
our P&C painters of today
are still doing.

(and maybe in 80 years,
some of our paintings will be
selling for half-a-million
like his are doing today)

Here's his respectable self portrait

and here's his real personality
(might we call him a "mad Hungarian?")

We need a few more people like this
attending our Quarterly meetings!

And I suppose
this is what he really looked like

(note: the largest online collection of his work can be found at " )


Blogger dragonfly1 said...

Hi Chris,

Thank you for your post. Being from Southern California since age 10, I am very interested in seeing the work of the very fine painters that moved there from the Chicao area, The Art Institute and The Palette and Chisel. And there were quite a few. I highly recommend the book "Plein Air Painters of California-The Southland"

March 09, 2008  

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