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Louis Mark

American Artist ( 1867-1935)


'The Secret Garden'

Oil on canvas

26.5 x 20.5 in. unfr. ; 26 x 31.5 fr.



Bavarian State Art Collection, Muncih


Edan Milton Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940, 1989. 

Born in Hungary, Mark studied in Budapest, Munich and Paris under the acclaimed academic painters Bouguereau.  He was invited to exhibit his work in Germany, England, and participated in the Venice Biennale beginning in 1901.  Mark invented a painting technique with a long brush, which allows the viewer to see more details the further away he stands from the canvas.

Upon his arrival to the U.S., Mark was commissioned to paint portraits for members of the wealthy social elite between 1910 and 1922.  The National Arts Club invited him to New York in 1910 to exhibit his work, surrounded by leading members of high society (including Woodrow Wilson, for whom he did a portrait).  He maintained a studio the Hotel Saint Francis in San Francisco where he exhibited his artwork and won a Gold Medal at the Panama Pacific International Exhibition in San Francisco in 1915.  Mark was made a lifetime member of the U.S. National Arts Club in recognition of his artistic merits.   

Mark’s painting was strongly influenced by his European academic training in his usage of energetic brushwork and rich impastos of color which integrate the figure into the garden and evoke the texture of the greenery. His rhythmic, gestural brushstrokes add vibrancy and spontaneity to the dense, pictorial surface.  Mark’s brilliant use of white pigment appears to generate light and radiance from within the composition.

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