Charles P. Reiffel (1862 - 1942)
An East Coast native for nearly sixty years of his life, modernist landscape painter and lithographer Charles P. Reiffel finally found his true inspiration when he visited Southern California in 1925. From that point on he painted nothing but the western landscapes, and earned a great deal of fame for them.
He was born in Indiana, and headed to Cincinnati where he took a job in a lithography company. He then traveled to Munich in order to study art, though he would remain mostly a self-taught painter throughout his career. He studied briefly with Carl Marr in Germany and then wandered Europe for the next six years. He would visit museums, making sketches and copies, and always painting in his uniquely modern style.
He returned to the United States around 1912, and settled in Connecticut. He was still earning his living from lithography, but by 1921 he was able to dedicate himself strictly to his easel painting.
A trip, along with his wife, to California in 1925 introduced him to the scenery and landscapes he would paint for the rest of his career. The work he did after 1925 was the most famous of his career, and he was an artist of national renown when he died in 1942.
He exhibited widely throughout his lifetime, winning several prizes and medals along the way. His works are in the collections of many major museums, including the San Diego Museum of Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.