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 Charles Jacob Hittell  (1861 - 1938)

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Lived/Active: California      Known for: western landscape, figure, animal

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Carlos J. Hittell is primarily known as Charles Jacob Hittell

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Ad Code: 4
Charles Jacob Hittell
from Auction House Records.
Frank Hittel Bringing Home a Buck
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Charles Hittell was known for his paintings of California adobes and western landscapes as well as figures, portraits and seascapes.

He was a native of California, born in San Francisco in 1861. The mansion at 808 Turk Street where he was raised was for many years a gathering place for the prominent citizens of San Francisco. His father, Theodore Hittell, was a prominent lawyer and respected historian who was the author of a four volume "History of California". His parents created a culturally stimulating environment for Charles and his brother, Franklin, and sister, Catherine, including providing them with drawing lessons as children. A portrait by Charles of his father is in the California Historical Society.

Charles Hittell studied briefly at the University of California at Berkeley, and in 1881 attended the School of Design in San Francisco, where he was a pupil of Virgil Williams for two years. Hittell then traveled to Munich to study at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts where he stayed for four years. He went on to study at the Academie Julian in Paris, France, between 1892 and 1893, and there earned a reputation as a "colorful character" with the nickname of Carlos who went about the city in cowboy outfits of spurs, chaps and ten gallon hat that had been given to him by Buffalo Bill." (Hughes 532)

Hittell, who had a studio at 640 Market Street, was a close friend of William Keith who accompanied him on an 1884 trip to Munich. In California, the two often took sketching trips together, and Keith painted a portrait of Hittell's brother, Franklin. (Snape)

Hittell exhibited his work at the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art in 1897 and 1898, and also at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco in 1915. The San Francisco Public Library has a collection of his work from the age of twelve forward, and the Bancroft Library has about 75 of his drawings including a series he did on Yosemite. This series indicates that he signed his works in a variety of ways.

He married Dr. Amy Bowen, and the couple lived for thirty years in the town of Pacific Grove, California, until Hittell's death in 1938.

Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Peggy and Harold Samuels, "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West"
Janell Snape, Cataloguer of the Fine Art Department, Bonhams & Butterfields

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Carlos Hittell is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exhibition 1915

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