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The Hunters, 1925
Gari Melchers (1860-1932)

View Artist Bio
Oil on canvas
53 3/8 x 59 1/4 inches
Signature Details: Gari Melchers.
Status: Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, South Carolina

Julius Garibaldi Melchers--born of German immigrant parents in Detroit and an expatriate for over thirty years--spent the latter years of his career on a Virginia estate painting distinctly American themes. His art at that time and, indeed, throughout his career was characterized by the motto which hung over the entrance to the artist's studio: "True and Clear."

The son of a Westphalian sculptor, Melchers received his earliest instruction from his father before entering the Dusseldorf Academy for formal academic study in 1877. From there, he relocated to Paris where he undertook instruction at the Academie Julien and was subsequently admitted to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. While his earlier works were often genre scenes painted in a style reminiscent of Vermeer, Melchers' art evolved to relect a brighter color scheme, looser brushwork, and other impressionistic qualities as a result of his stay and study in France. By 1884, the artist had established a studio in the Dutch fishing village of Egmond aan Zee, and enjoyed critical and financial success. In 1889, his reputation was solidified when he was awarded the grand prize at the Paris Universalle Exposition, sharing honors with John Singer Sargent. Melchers often returned to the United States during these expatriate years to fulfill painting commissions before settling permanently in Virginia at the outset of World War I.

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This essay is copyrighted by Robert M. Hicklin Jr., Inc. and may not be reproduced or transmitted without written permission.

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