2013-10-03 13.59.37

Grand Canyon, Circa 1930’s
Dana Bartlett, (1882-1957)
Oil on Board
12″ x 16″

Bartlett made his first trip to Italy in 1924 where he was deeply inspired by the Venetian Tempera technique used by Titian, Turner and Monticelli and the color effect of stained glass which he incorporated in his painting and became famous for his vivid jewel tones.

Dana Bartlett studied at the Art Students League in New York under William M. Chase and with Charles Warren Eaton. The first decade of his career was spent as a designer and commercial artist–first in Portland, Oregon for Foster and Kleiser and then in San Francisco. From the latter city he moved to Los Angeles in 1915 intending to become a landscape painter. His first exhibit in 1916 included oil paintings, watercolors and pastels as well as black and white monotypes, which he heightened with a slight tint of watercolor. Antony Anderson, then art critic for the Los Angeles Times, found his nocturnal landscapes (for Bartlett was intrigued by the moods of nature) among his best works. Until 1930 Bartlett was a frequent exhibitor with the California Art Club and the Painters and Sculptors exhibitions. His decorative Southern California landscapes, complete with eucalyptus trees and purple mountains painted in pale pastels are almost the epitome of “Eucalyptus School” paintings. In 1924 he traveled to Europe with the intention of making a special study of how Titian, Turner and Monticelli applied their color. Upon his return he experimented with the use of Venetian tempera as an underpainting. What resulted were a number of imaginative landscapes and still lifes painted in a high decorative fashion with brilliant, jewel-like transparent glowing colors, which are unique product in Southern California. In 1920 and 1927, Bartlett organized circulating exhibitions of his own works and in 1928 he opened an art gallery for sketches and small paintings and also taught at the Chouinard School of Art. Although he is listed in the 1940-41 volume of Who’s Who in American Art, little record is left of his art activities after 1930 other than he was a member of the Laguna Beach Art Association until 1936. BIBLOGRAPHY: Moure & Smith, PSCA #3 Los Angeles Times, July 9, 1916, 3-2-2. Who’s Who in American Art, 1936-37, 1940-411 Westphal, Ruth, Plein Air Painters of California, The Southland. Westphal Publishing, Irvine, California 1982.2 Hughes, Edan Milton, Artists in California 1786-1940 Hughes Publishing Company3 Southern California Artists 1890-1940, Laguna Beach Museum of Art Book