LOT 320

Edgar Payne


Sierra Packer

MEDIUM: Oil on canvas

DIMENSIONS: 25 x 30 inches

Signed lower right


SOLD FOR: $157,950.00

Including Buyers Premium

Additional Information

The artist
Private collection

Edgar Payne started painting in a professional capacity—houses, signs, stage sets and other projects—as a teenager of 14 years old. He trained in Chicago for a brief period of time, before learning of Laguna Beach, California, and setting his sights west, all the way to the Pacific Coast. It was there in that still-evolving paradise that he honed his skills as a fine artist. After traveling to Europe in the 1920s, Payne returned to America and quickly became one of the leading impressionist painters. In addition to his European subjects, such as the Matterhorn or boats in French harbors, Payne also painted the Sierra Nevada Mountains, rolling hills throughout Southern California and, starting in 1916 after an assignment by the Santa Fe Railroad, the American Southwest.

In Sierra Packer, a staggering example from Payne’s Sierra Nevada adventures, the artist uses color, composition, scale and light to make the mountains into a towering monolith above his subject. “Responding to the light, Payne worked with pure, saturated hues,” Scott A. Shields writes in Edgar Payne: The Scenic Journey. “Fred Hogue, chief editorial writer for the Los Angeles Times, called Payne a ‘poet who sings in colors.’ With the brilliant turquoise of the ocean, hills gold in summer and acid green in winter, and colorful rock formations in the Sierra, Payne was presented with opportunity at every turn. Like the French Impressionists, he avoided black, creating neutral shades by combining complementary colors even for the darkest shadows. For him, California’s topography held more brilliance than did landscape abroad. ‘The rocks of the Alps are granite, of a uniform gray,’ [Payne] explained. ‘In the Sierras one finds mineral ledges everywhere. There is a diversity of color. There are reds and greens not to be found anywhere in Europe. One finds here the mountains of Switzerland under the skies of Italy.’”


Phone: (480) 945-0225


Please note that the first unframed photo is most accurate for color. Framed photographs are to show the frame and are not color corrected to the painting.

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