Maurice Braun (American, 1877-1941)
Old River Landings
Oil on canvas, signed lower right and titled on stretcher.
Painting Size: 20” x 22”
Frame Size: 26” x 28”
Maurice Braun is one of the most well-known artists of California Impressionism. His deeply rooted beliefs in the unity of man and nature combined with the beauty of America’s southwest landscape gave rise to paintings that made him one of the most lauded artists of his day.
Born in Nagy Bittse, Hungary, Braun emigrated with his family to New York City in 1881. As a young teen he apprenticed to a jeweler but rejected that for a career in the fine arts. Thus, at the age of 20, he enrolled at the National Academy of Design where he studied for the next five years, followed by more study under the tutelage of William Merritt Chase.
Eventually, Braun became a well known portrait painter in New York, but decided to move San Diego in 1910 where he opened his own art studio. Two years later he opened the San Diego Academy of Art and became its director. He also cofounded the San Diego Art Guild and the Contemporary Artists in San Diego.
His move out West proved to be a turning point in his career. Deeply devoted to Theosophy he found expression for it in California and the landscape of the American southwest. He died in San Diego in 1941 after a long and successful career.
Today his work can be found in the Irvine Museum, San Diego Museum of Art, and LACMA.
Hughes, Edan Milton. Artists in California. (1989).