MAYNARD DIXON (1875-1946)
Redwoods, Coronado, 1892
Watercolor on paper, 21.5 x 8.25 inches
As a somewhat frail child, Maynard Dixon was often left to his own devices and by the age of 6 had begun to draw, letting his imagination take him through the western landscape. In 1891, Dixon’s father had suffered a nervous breakdown, motivating the family to move to Coronado near San Diego to provide a more peaceful environment. That same year, Dixon had impressed the famous illustrator Frederic Remington with a portfolio of his work, receiving an encouraging response, and the advice, “… copy only from nature.” Quitting school, Maynard immersed himself in further improving his drawing and painting skills, exploring the region.
Much of his earliest work was destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco fire, making this an extremely rare painting, in untouched condition* from the private collection of the artist’s granddaughter. “Redwoods” is a unique example from this period, suggesting Dixon’s later commentary on his work, “It aims … to interpret the vastness, the loneliness, and the sense of freedom this country inspires. I want to make my paintings show the people as a part of that.”
This painting is accompanied by a letter from the artist’s granddaughter, that states, “I am forever grateful for his skilled recording of the West’s beautiful landscapes …There is no doubt he understood what he was doing on his travels on horseback to remote villages and untouched countryside where he made quick sketches and paintings of what he saw.”
*Mitchell Brown Fine Art will be happy to facilitate any conservation deemed necessary.