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H.D. Gremke was born in San Francisco and studied landscape at the California School of Design under R.D. Yelland. From his studio in Oakland, Gremke took sketching trips in the summertime to the Sierra Nevada, painting Kings River and Yosemite scenery like our view of Cathedral Spires. He often exhibited paintings at the State Fair exhibition in Sacramento where they were highly praised by critics. In 1898, the Sacramento Bee praised a Gremke painting of Monterey Bay, noting “Its coloring is so brilliant, yet so magnificently mingled that it stands out to the vision in bold and delightful contrast with the more subdued paintings that surround it.” (September 10, 1898). Gremke did not follow the “tonalist” fashion of the late nineteenth century, where moody paintings in gray tones—the “subdued paintings” noted above, were all the rage.