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American Impressionist painter Edgar Payne grew up in the Midwest, but spent the most productive part of his career captivated by the majestic scenery of the this vision of the Tetons in Wyoming.

Executive Director of the Irvine Museum, John Stern.

Payne likes to put the peak near the top edge to suggest the height and the scale of the mountains. And also he would often put a figure in the foreground. The purpose of the figure there is not so much narrative, as there's no real story going on. The figure is there to give scale to the composition.

Payne is considered one of the preeminent California Impressionists. Members of this group insisted on being outside with their subject matter.

And in those days it wasn't something where you just drove up to the mountains and painted for a few hours and then threw everything back in the car and drove back down. In those days, you went up into the mountains, you set up camp. He was resupplied by mule train periodically. He would stay at his camps for two to three weeks, where he would produce outdoor sketches, which he later would take back to his studio to paint the larger works.

California, with its long sunny days, became a magnet for artists like Payne. Other California Impressionist paintings can be seen along this hallway and upstairs in the Flour Gallery as part of the exhibition California: The Golden Years.

Step8-Teton Peaks by Edgar Payne, c. 1935

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