Thaddeus Welch

Paintings in Inventory (Click on an image for a larger view)


As a young child, Welch crossed the plains in a covered wagon and settled in Oregon where he lived until he moved to California in the 1860s. His talent for art won him a scholarship to Munich in the 1870s and he remained abroad for several years, befriending Frank Duveneck and William Merritt Chase among others. During the decade of the 1880s and part of the ’90s Welch roamed the country working on various art projects. In 1888, he traveled to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado on his way to Australia where he had been hired to paint cycloramas. Welch settled down in Marin County towards the end of the century. He received his first real measure of prosperity painting the rolling hills of Marin in a more realistic style than his earlier Munich-inspired works. Around 1900, he and his artist-wife Ludmilla “fulfilled a dream of their artist life” according to an article in Sunset Magazine published in 1904, when they spent “a season in a tent in Yosemite Valley.” (June 1904, p. 132). By 1906 he was esteemed as a painter of “distant hills in sunlight, rich and warm foreground with cattle, trees and grasses” to quote Will Sparks writing in the San Francisco Call (Sept. 2, 1906). The great charm of Welch’s Marin paintings spawned a tradition of beautiful hillside landscapes that was carried well into the 20th century by such artists as Jack Wisby and Louis Rea.