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Julian Rix

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Christmas Gulch

Born with a natural talent for art, Julian Rix was deflected from his ambition to become an artist by his father, Judge Alfred Rix of San Francisco, who apprenticed the young man to an ordinary house painter.  Rix soon graduated from painting houses to painting signs, which required artistic talent.  By 1872 his name had started appearing in the art columns of San Francisco as a young man of great promise.  He spent 1874 honing his artistic skills in New York City and returned to San Francisco the following year where he became an enthusiastic participant in the flourishing art world of the middle 1870s.  He struck up a friendship with the transplanted French artist Jules Tavernier.  Together, they became known for their beer-drinking prowess and their enthusiasm for the newly-founded Bohemian Club.  Under Tavernier's influence, Rix's art acquired some of the characteristics of French Barbizon painting, featuring humble subjects portrayed in subdued tonalities, often with a reflecting pool in the foreground and a path going into the distance to establish the illusion of three dimensions. 

 

 


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