CHARLES PAUL GRUPPE
Oil On Canvas
Signed Lower Right
Housed in a Period Frame
Provenance: Private collection, Long Island, New York.
Museums (14) include: Smithsonian American Art Museum, National Gallery of Canada, San Diego
Museum of Art, Lowe Art Museum, Georgia Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Museum of Art,
Listed: 32 books
Periodicals: (3), American Art Review, Art & Auction, and Plein Air Magazine
Image Size: 18 ½ ” x 24”
CHARLES PAUL GRUPPE
Landscape and marine painter Charles Paul Gruppe was born in Picton, Canada, September 3, 1860. Largely self-taught,
Gruppe did study in Holland and a good portion of his work consists of Holland inspired scenes.
He should not be confused with his son, artist Emile Gruppe, who painted many well-known New England scenes.
When Charles was ten, he moved with his family to Rochester, New York, after the death of his father.
Interested in painting from an early age, he spent much of his time sketching and creating watercolors and oils.
To help support his mother and sisters, he worked in a sign painting shop, soon mastering the craft.
Eventually, at age twenty-one, he had earned enough money to travel steerage to Europe,
where traveled through France, Germany, and Holland, searching for a place to settle and practice his art.
He was taken with Holland, perhaps attracted to its fishing villages with their picturesque boats and quaint houses,
and decided to stay. He built a home and studio in the little fishing village of Katwyk Ann Zee
and painted much of his European work in the vicinity of that town.
While in Holland, his skill at subtle coloration and careful draftsmanship became so identified with the Dutch School
of painting that he was elected to the exclusive Pulchre Studio in the in the Hague, something highly unique for an American
Members of the Dutch Royal Family collected his work,
which included portraits of the Dutch people as well as genre, marine, and countryside scenes.
Many of his paintings are of the Zuider Zee and of Sheveningen, where he had a vacation villa.
Altogether, Gruppe spent over twenty years in Holland, becoming a celebrity artist
and ultimately beingpatronized by the royalty of Europe.
His work is represented in many museums in America and Europe.
Gruppe returned to America, becoming both a painter and dealer/broker in the art of Dutch painters,
and popularizing Dutch art among American collectors and art connoisseurs. His son, Emile, who was to also become a great painter,
was born at the family residence in Rochester in 1896.
Soon thereafter the Gruppes moved back to Katwyk Ann/Zee, Holland, but in 1909, the family returned to the
United States as the clouds of W.W.I gathered.
Although their ancestry was originally the Hamburg area of Germany, they at this time added an
accent to e of the Gruppe name to make it appear less German.
The elder Gruppe found an apartment/studio at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
His son Emile also wanted to paint, and, in addition to teaching him himself, Charles sent him to the best teachers,
including Bridgeman (figures/drawing), Carlson ( landscapes / values) and Hawthorne (a colorist).
Charles had been an essentially self-taught artist but his son would have the best teachers.
In 1925, after seeing an exhibition in New York that featured the beautiful winter harbor scenes of Gloucester by
Frederick Mulhaupt, the Gruppe father and son team headed to Cape Ann, to see for themselves. "Mulhaupt got the smell o
Gloucester on canvas", Emile had said. Father and son were already fond of seacoasts and seaports and
both Gruppes soon fell in love with Cape Ann.
They both continued to paint in the Cape Ann area for the rest of their lives.
The elder Charles P. Gruppe died in Rockport, Massachusetts, on September 30, 1940 at his studio. He was 80 (a stay of 15 years).
During those years Charles spent his summers in Rockport and the remainder of the year at his New York studio.
The younger Gruppe (Emile) died in 1978 (a stay of 53 years). He was 78.
Until 1929, the two Gruppes shared a studio on Bearskin Neck in Rockport. Then Emile decided make his own fortune
and moved to nearby Gloucester where he purchased an old school house on Rocky Neck.
Despite his stern look, Charles Gruppe was said to have a sunny and optimistic disposition
He had little formal education and no visible advantages in his early youth.
All he did have was a strong love of painting which seemed inborn to him, as it was to generations of his family.
He painted thousands of paintings in his life that are in the finest collections of Europe and America.
All four of his children were exposed to art and artists at tender ages, and eventually all established themselves
in the arts: sculptor, Karl, was a member of the National Academy; musician, Paulo, is a cellist.
.Virginia was a watercolorist/art dealer who painted Rockport and Gloucester scenes and owned a gallery selling Gruppe and other paintings in Rochester, NY, where she lived until her death in the 1960s.
Charles son, Emile, was a highly regarded painter.
Emile's son, Robert C. Gruppe is also an artist and operates a studio in Rocky Neck today.
A remarkable family legacy.
He was honored with numerous awards and medals, including gold medals at Paris and Rouen,
and two silver medals (watercolor and oil) at the World's Fair in St. Louis in 1903.
Charles P. Gruppe was also a member of the Salmagundi Club in New York.
Smithsonian American Art Museum
National Gallery of Canada
San Diego Museum of Art
The Brooklyn Museum of Art
Lowe Art Museum
Georgia Museum of Art
Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
The Detroit Institute of Arts
Burchfield-Penney Art Center
Butler Institute of American Art
Reading Public Museum
Springville Museum of Art (Utah)
Sheldon Swope Art Museum
American Art Review, 1998, October, Images of a New England Seacoast
Art & Auction, June, 2004 Editor's Notebook
Plein Air Magazine, September, 2005, The Gruppe Family
Dunbier, The Artists Bluebook
Davenport, Davenport's Art Reference
Tysver, Small Masterpieces
Falk, Who Was Who in American Art;
The Annual Exhibition Record;
Annual Exhibition Record, 1901-19,
National Academy of Design;
Annual Exhibition Record, 1876-19 and 1914-68,
PA Academy of the Fine Arts;
Dictionary of Signatures & Monograms;
Who Was Who in American Art 1898-1947
Casement, The Darvish Collection
Southwest Art, The Red Book
Schwarz - Philadelphia, Fine American & European Paintings
Gerdts, Art Across America (East)
Opitz, Mantle Fielding's Dictionary
Zellman, 300 Years of American Art
Huneker, Americans in the Arts 1890-1920
Marlor, The Society of Independent Artists
Opitz, Dictionary of American Artists
Lippincott, Artists of the Rockport Art Assoc.
Brooklyn Museum, American Paintings in the Brooklyn Museum
Smithsonian, Smithsonian Archives Am. Art
Naylor, Exhibition Record 1861-1900, NationalAcademy of Design
Earle, Biographical Sketches of Am. Artists
Springville Museum of Art, Permanent Collect.
Mallett, Index of Artists
Universal Exposition, Louisiana Purchase 1904
Los Angeles Olympic Games, Exhibition Cat.
National Gallery Of Canada, Cat. Of Paintings
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Charles Paul Gruppe, Cattle Watering in an Auturm Landscape, c1903