California & American Paintings & Sculpture Auction Features Works by Guy Rose and Edgar Payne

Bonhams & Butterfields, California’s oldest and largest fine arts auctioneers, is pleased to announce its November 24, 2008 sale of California and American Paintings and Sculpture. On offer are Barbizon and early 19th century landscapes; Western scenes; Impressionist and Modernist compositions including plein air paintings; genre scenes; and cityscapes by established California and American artists.

Featured artists include Guy Rose, Granville Redmond, Armin Hansen John Marshall Gamble, Edgar Payne, Selden Connor Gile, William Alexander Coulter, William Wendt, and Maurice Braun, among others.

“The demand for fresh-to-market California and American works remains prevalent,” said Scot Levitt, Director of California & American Paintings and Sculpture sales for Bonhams & Butterfields. “We continue to see buyer interest, particularly for better known artists and A-plus examples,” continued Levitt.

guy-rose.jpgHighlighting the sale is a rare impressionist work entitled Carmel Shore (est. $500/700,000) by Guy Rose. Rose is considered the most important California Impressionist painter. A native Californian, he studied at the California School of Design before traveling to France to study in 1888. After a time in New York, he returned to France in 1899 settling in Giverny and working closely with master painter Claude Monet.

Upon his return to the United States, Rose became a major figure of the California Impressionist movement influencing artists such as Granville Redmond, John Marshall Gamble, Maurice Braun and William Wendt. It is from this period that the oil on canvas Carmel Shore comes.

According to Levitt, “Good examples of Rose’s work from that period, such as Carmel Shore, bring the Impressionist style and approach to the California landscape. We are pleased to offer such a major work by an important figure.”

An assortment of other Plein Air works at various price points include: a colorful oil on canvas entitled The Garden, 1919, by Selden Connor Gile (est. $60/80,000); Granville Redmond’s California Oak from a private Texas collection (est. $80/120,000); Point Loma, 1914, a stunning coastal scene by Maurice Braun (est. $80/120,000), and William Wendt’s striking California Landscape from 1910 (est. $70/90,000).

Also in the November offering is Edgar Payne’s The Navajos. Payne’s career spanned a number of different periods and styles. He is best known for his depictions of the rugged peaks and glaciers of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range in California. However, Payne’s work extends from depictions of fishing boats and sailboats along the Italian and French coasts, the Swiss Alps and old Swiss chalets, to the California coast and the fertile farming valleys of the Southland.

“Among all of the subjects for which Payne is recognized, the works depicting the desert Southwest and the Navajo in particular – such as the work we’ll offer in November – seem to be the most sought-after and well-received,” said Levitt.

The Navajos depicts five Native American riders in a vast desert landscape of canyons and mesas with a cloudy sky above. The artist skillfully uses the strong horizontal of the distant mesas to create a vast and expansive composition suitable to the region, while moving the line of riders gently from upper left towards the center, emphasizing the figures place as prominent in the composition and underscoring the harmony of man and nature. In works such as these, the artist is able to fully communicate his admiration of and respect for the native peoples of this region while capturing the balance of life and nature in his art through a social realist bent. The Navajos is expected to bring $250,000-350,000.

Additional works by Edgar Payne on offer in the upcoming auction include: Canyon del Muerto (est. $70/100,000); Cabins Beneath an Alpine Glacier (est. $60/80,000); The Grand Canyon (est. $40/60,000) and Sierra Glaciers and Lake (est. $30/50,000). Dahlias, a work by Payne’s wife Elsie Palmer Payne, is expected to bring as much as $8,000.

William Alexander Coulter’s monumental work Ships Sailing in the San Francisco Bay with Fort Point in the Distance, 1907, (est. $150/200,000) is also on offer. Measuring 54×84-inches, the painting features interesting brushwork and use of light — which highlights the overall movement of the water and sailing ships. The classic panoramic Luminist work speaks to San Francisco and the shipping trade of the 19th century in all its glory.

“The market for paintings with realist overtones is strong,” said Levitt. “We continue to see solid prices for works such as Coulter’s Ships Sailing; historical depictions of iconic American scenes,” continued Levitt.

The illustrated auction catalog for the August sale will be online at in the weeks preceding the sale and its previews open in San Francisco on November 14-16 and in Los Angeles on November 21-23, 2008. For more information on the specialty department, visit: