Lionel Walden, (1861-1933), Twilight, Evening Star and Crescent Moon, with Sailing Ships On the Horizon, Oahu, Hawaii, 1925 dated, Hawaiians call the moonlight effect in this painting, “ala moana” or moon path, Great Historical Hawaiian Provenance!

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Lionel Walden, (1861-1933), Twilight, Evening Star and Crescent Moon,with Sailing Ships On the Horizon, Oahu, Hawaii, 1925 dated.  Hawaiians call the moonlight effect in this painting, “ala moana” or moon path, Great Historical Hawaiian Provenance!
Lionel Walden, (1861-1933)
Oil on Canvas/Board
9-3/4″ x 13-5/8″
 Original Frame

Comes with a letter from Lionel Walden and signed by Walden to the original owner, who received the painting as a gift from Walden for her wedding!

From Encounters with Paradise by David Forbes and the Honolulu Academy of Arts, 1992:

“Lionel Walden was the finest seascape painter to work in Hawaii.  He was magnetized by the colors he saw in the landscape and the sea. ‘I have watched the moon rise over the mountains of Diamond Head and seen the silvery sheen on the swell as it rolls over the beach,’ he commented to a reporter. Although his scenes of white frothy waves dashing dramatically against the rocky coast are most familiar, he painted the sea in all its moods, colors, and actions.

This next quote from the book, exemplifies this particular painting we have for sale very well:

“This quiet moonlight scene from Kahala is a departure from his more theatrical views.  The moon, rather than the sea, is the compelling and inescapable element;  the painting is concerned with light, particularly light reflected by the sea.  Walden’s moon is a fully visible pale golden orb, without a trace of cloud cover.  It illuminates the sea-spray-laden sky with a pinkish yellow tint, casting a brilliant reflection across the water.  Hawaiians knew this phenomenon as the ‘ala moana’ (literally “moon path”), which they celebrated in songs and chants.

The water is painted in a carefully arranged series of horizontals, from the line of breakers at the edge of the reef in the center to the distant horizon.  Even the point of land at the left is horizontal.  the glittering moon path provides the only vertical accent.”

This painting incorporates many of the descriptive elements mentioned above and some additional characteristics that make it in our opinion even better than what is shown on page 234 of Encounters with Paradise, “Koko Head from Kahala: Moonlight

A painter of seascapes and marine scenes, Lionel Walden was born in Connecticut in 1861.  He first became interested in art in Minnesota, where the family moved when his father became rector of an Episcopal Church there.  As a young man Walden moved to Paris where he studied with E. A. Carolus-Duran. 

A frequent exhibitor in the Paris Salons, the “King of Bohemia”, as he was called, became a skilled figure painter in addition to painting marine and harbor scenes.  Though he also exhibited and won prizes in London, St. Louis, and San Francisco, Walden considered Paris his home. 

His participation in the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco in 1915 not only earned him a medal, but also allowed him to display his famous “The Surf Riders” prominently. 

In Paris, Walden became acquainted with Kimo Wilder, a Honolulu artist.  The meeting was to prove fateful, as Wilder invited Walden to come to Hawaii, which he did in 1911. That visit was the first of many, as Walden fell in love with the light and water in Hawaii.

Lionel Walden was considered the finest seascape artist in Hawaii.  While many of his peers were obsessed with volcanoes, Walden preferred the ocean in “all its moods, colors, and actions.”  He is particularly famous for his paintings of stormy seas.  Walden did paint his share of volcanoes,and other landscapes, as well, and collaborated on the immense dioramas of the seven scenic wonders of Hawaii with his good friend, D. Howard Hitchcock, for the 1917 Pan-Pacific Carnival. 

They also joined forces with other artists to produce murals for a theater, for the telephone company, and for a ship of the Inter-Island Steam Navigation Company in the early 1920s.

Though his fame originates mainly from the art he created in Hawaii, Walden’s first love was France, and he died there in Chantilly in 1933.

Sources include: 
WWAA; Forbes: Encounters With Paradise; Gerdts: Art Across America, vol. 3.