|American Painter Emil Gruppe was renowned as a master of water scenes.
Son of renowned painter Charles Gruppe, Emile was born in 1896 and, in addition to his father's artistic influence, attended the Carnegie Art School where he studied with George Bridgeman, the Arts Students League, Woodstock NY under John F. Carlson, Provincetown, MA with Charles Hawthorne, Richard Miller, and George Chapman. He briefly interrupted his career when he entered the Unites States Navy in 1917 and served for a year.
Gruppe painted numerous works throughout his life. He is best known for his impressionistic landscapes, painted figures and portraits - especially for "his views of fishing boats docked at Gloucester and Rockport, and for his Rockport village scenes." For the majority of his professional career, he worked and lived in Gloucester, Massachusetts, often wintering in Vermont and Florida. In 1942, he founded the Gruppe Summer School in Gloucester with his mentors Miller, Carlson, Bridgeman, and Chapman.
Like many artists of the time, Gruppe was largely influenced by the work of Claude Monet. In his various paintings of the Bass Rocks area, Gruppe offers a view of the dramatic rocky seashore as it's majestic waves crash through it. A common theme in his work, his views of the coast differ in the time of day, season, and point of view, with variant intentions affecting the depth and breadth of brushstroke and the thickness of paint. Gruppe reveals the conflict of the sea and the formidable rocky coastline against the calm orange light of the early morning, or the deep orange sunset as a day draws to a close. He paints the rocks thick and heavy, but uses a surprisingly delicate hand to convey the variations in the sky.
Gruppe lived a long and prolific life, passionate about his art and about sharing the joys and skills of visual creativity with future generations. He died in 1978 at the age of 82. In one of his last interviews revealed his philosophy of painting: "If you want exacting details in a painting, than you might as well look at a photograph. I make an impression on a canvas, and let one's imagination fill in the details."
Gruppe's works can be found in the Richmond Art Museum, the Hickory Museum of Art, Springville Museum of Art, Whistler House Museum of Art, and more. His works are highly collectible and have brought dramatic prices near $40,000 at auction.