Walter Elmer Schofield


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Painter. An expatriate during most of his career as a landscape specialist, during frequent sojourns in the United States he painted American scenes, especially in the Delaware River Valley around New Hope. Although contemporaries often identified him as an impressionist, he employed a vigorous, painterly realism to convey a sense of outdoor light and space. Like his friend Edward Redfield, who worked in a similar style, he routinely painted outdoors, favored large canvases, and became known for winter scenes. As well, he painted marines, harbor views, and picturesque villages, particularly along the coasts of France and England. Characteristically sharp tonal contrasts energize the intimate woodland Winter (Pennsylvania Academy, c. 1899). Its snowy banks border a stream that reflects the season's pale light. Although the water here is placid, in many of Schofield's views, dashing brushwork mimics turbulent movement. A Philadelphia native, he studied at Swarthmore College but left before graduating to enroll at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. During three years there, he encountered Robert Henri and other realists whose interests went beyond the established conventions of impressionism. In 1892 he arrived in Paris, where he studied at the Académie Julian but soon also painted landscapes in the nearby countryside. From about 1895 he worked in Normandy and Brittany but in 1903 settled in the art colony of St. Ives in Cornwall, England, where he died.

Subjects: Art.

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