William Keith original oil painting wooded landscape with cattle by a lake. Oil on panel signed lower right canvas measuring Approx 14 x 22 a magnificent example of this famed California and American artists work.
William Keith rivalled Thomas Hill as the most accomplished and successful landscape painter working in California during the 19th century. After two years spent studying art in Düsseldorf, Paris and Boston, Keith returned to California in 1872 as a sophisticated painter whose work drew on several prevailing styles popular in the cultural centers of the world. Many of his paintings reflect the influence of the "Hudson River School" and depict sublime mountain scenery à la Church or Bierstadt.
But at the same time as he was painting alpine panoramas, Keith also focused on the more intimate landscapes of the French Barbizon movement that had come to the forefront of Parisian art appreciation during the 1860s. Barbizon painters adopted a more natural and impressionistic style than that of the academic painters; their works often communicate a rougher and stronger presence of nature than sweeter, more sentimental academic landscapes. Major works of the English painter John Constable, exhibited at Paris Salons of the 1820s, influenced the Barbizon painters in the direction of this stronger style. Works held: Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum; Crocker Museum (Sacramento); Art Institute of Chicago; Oakland Museum; Stanford University; Boston Museum; De Young Museum San Francisco; California State Capitol.