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 Ernest Clifford Peixotto  (1869 - 1940)

About: Ernest Clifford Peixotto
 

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Lived/Active: California/New York / France      Known for: easel and mural painting-portrait, landscape, garden scene, illustration

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BIOGRAPHY for Ernest Peixotto
Facts/Data
Birth
1869 (San Francisco, California)
 
Death
1940 (New York City)

Lived/Active
California/New York / France

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easel and mural painting-portrait, landscape, garden scene, illustration

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San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exhibition 1915
Illustrators
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Ernest Peixotto was born on October 15, 1869, in San Francisco. He received his public school education in San Francisco at the San Francisco School of Design under the aegis of Emil Carlsen. Beginning in 1888, he entered the Atelier Julien in Paris, and studied for seven years with Constant, Lefebvre, and Doucet. Several years were spent touring and sketching the French countryside. He exhibited in many Paris salons and in leading American exhibitions, illustrated books and periodicals, and painted murals for many important buildings.

In 1894, he returned to San Francisco and soon thereafter founded "The Lark", an art magazine. In 1897, he moved to New York City and worked for Scribner's and Harper's. Living in New York until 1899, he returned to France and established a studio and villa near Fontainebleau. While living in France, he traveled extensively in Europe and to North and South America writing and illustrating books and articles on his adventures. He also made many trips to California to exhibit and execute mural commissions. He painted murals, portraits, and landscapes in oil and watercolor as well as superb pen-&-ink sketches.

So excellent were his delineations of buildings that he was elected an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects. When the war began in 1914, Peixotto initially joined the local defense group, but in October of that year he returned to the United States. Age prevented Peixotto from entering active military service, however in March of 1918, General John Pershing appointed him as official artist attached to the A.E.F. (American Expeditionary Force). With the rank of captain, his experience of living and working in France, and his fluency in French, he followed the entire American campaign as an Army artist.

At the close of the war, he was assigned as director of the A.E.F. Art Training Center at Bellevue, France, before returning to the United States in 1919. He produced a body of work that captured the widespread destruction caused by the weapons of modern warfare. He also used the small towns of the French countryside as background in many of his paintings. Considered as one of the highest paid artists in his business, he was versatile as well as prolific. He produced 50 illustrations for President Theodore Roosevelt's "Life of Cromwell", and a large number for Henry Cabot Lodge's Story of the Revolution as well as sketches for Robert Louis Stevenson's Letters.

Peixotto wrote and illustrated many other books including "Romantic California", 1911; "Our Hispanic Southwest", 1916; "The American Front", 1919; and "A Bacchic Pilgrimage" in 1932.

Ernest Peixotto was a member of the Salmagundi Club, The National Society of Mural Painters, the Society of Illustrators, the New York Architectural League, the Associate of the National Academy of Design, the Century Club, the Societe des Artistes Francais, the Bohemian Club, and the French Legion of Honor. His works can be seen at the National Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C., the Hispanic Museum in New York.

He died on December 6, 1940 in New York City.


Information on the biography above is based on writings from the book, "Artists in California, 1786-1940, II", by Edan Milton Hughes; and, Online Archive of California, Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in San Francisco, CA on Oct. 15, 1869, Ernest  Peixotto (pronounced puh-zho-to) studied at the San Francisco School of Design under Emil Carlsen and in Paris for seven years with Benjamin Constant, Jules Lefebvre, and Henri Doucet at Académie Julian.  After his return to San Francisco in 1894, he founded an art magazine, The Lark and taught briefly at the Mark Hopkins Institute.

In 1897 he left for New York City, and thereafter divided his time between that city and France where he maintained a villa at Fontainebleau; however, he made many trips back to California to exhibit and execute mural commissions. 

He painted murals, portraits, and landscapes in oil and watercolor as well as superb pen-&-ink sketches.  So excellent were his delineations of buildings that he was elected an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects. 

General John Pershing appointed him an official artist for the American Expeditionary forces in WWI with the rank of Captain. After the war he returned to New York City.  Never a starving-in-the-attic artist, he was always assured of a steady income from his illustrations for such magazines as Harper's and Scribner's. 

One of the highest paid artists in the business, he was versatile as well as prolific.  He did 50 illustrations for President Theodore Roosevelt's Life of Cromwell, and a large number for Henry Cabot Lodge's Story of the Revolution as well as sketches for Robert Louis Stevenson's Letters.  Peixotto wrote and illustrated many other books including Romantic California (1911). 

He died in NYC on Dec. 6, 1940. 

Member:  American National Academy; Salmagundi Club; National Society of Mural Painters; Society of Illustrators; American Federation of Art; NY Architectural League; Century Club; Allied Artists of America; Société des Artistes Français; French Legion of Honor. 

Exhibitions: 

Paris Salon, 1890, 1891, 1895
San Francisco Art Association, 1890-1906
Vickery's Gallery (SF), 1892
Calif. State Fair, 1892, 1898
Mechanics' Inst. (SF), 1893-96
Calif. Midwinter Int'l Expo, 1894
Guild of Arts & Crafts (SF), 1896
Bohemian Club, 1897-1904
Panama Pacific Exposition,1915. 

Collections

Bohemian Club
Bancroft Library (UC Berkeley)
NMAA; Filoli (murals)
Hispanic Museum (NY)
Oyster Bay (NY) Post Office (mural)
Embassy Club (NYC).
Source:
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
WWA 1918; AAA 1919-33; WWAA 1936-41; CAR; Fld; Ben; Sam; Ber; NY Times, 12-7-1940 and SF Chronicle, 12-10-1940 (obits).
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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