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Charles P. Gruppe USA, 1860-1940Type: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 24 x 30 inches
Frame Dimensions: 33 x 39
Signature: (l.r.) Chas. P. Gruppe
Canal Near The Hague

About the artist
Born in Picton, Ontario, the landscape and marine painter Charles Paul Gruppe is closely identified with the Dutch School of painting. In the time Gruppe lived in the Netherlands, he painted portraits of people, interiors, farms, boats, fishermen and coastal waterways, using a low-keyed, softly colored palette, with the rich, dark tonal qualities of the Netherlands. His sympathetic portrayal of Hollanders and their muted, subtle environment is so authentic that Gruppe was elected into the exclusive Pulchre Studio in the Netherlands, an unusual honor for an American.

At the age of 10, his family moved to Rochester, New York following the death of his father. Although Gruppe had no formal art training, he was interested in painting from an early age, spending much of his time sketching and creating watercolors and oils. To help support his mother and sisters, he worked in a sign-painting shop, soon mastering the craft. At the age of 21, he had earned enough money to travel to Europe, visiting France, Germany, and Holland, searching for a place to settle and practice his art. When he stopped in Holland he was captivated and he began to live and paint like a Dutchman. Eight years later he settled in The Hague. Altogether, Gruppe spent over twenty years in Holland, becoming a celebrated artist and ultimately being patronized by the royalty of Europe. His work is represented in many museums in America and Europe.

Upon his return to America, Gruppe became both a painter and dealer/broker in the art of Dutch painters, and popularizing Dutch art among American collectors and art connoisseurs. His son, Emile, who was to also become a well-known painter, was born at the family residence in Rochester in 1896. Soon thereafter the Gruppes moved back to Katwyk Ann/Zee, Holland, but the family returned to the United States as the clouds of World War I gathered.

In 1925, after seeing an exhibition in New York that featured the beautiful winter harbor scenes of Gloucester by Frederick Mulhaupt, the Gruppe father and son team headed to Cape Ann, to see for themselves. Father and son were already fond of seacoasts and seaports, and both Gruppes soon fell in love with Cape Ann. They both continued to paint in the Cape Ann area for the rest of their lives. The elder Charles Paul Gruppe died at age 80 in Rockport, Massachusetts, on September 30, 1940 at his studio where he had been established during the summers for 15 years. The remainder of each of those years, he had spent in New York City, where he was an active member of the Salmagundi Club.

Charles Paul Gruppe was honored with numerous awards and medals, including gold medals at Paris and Rouen, and two silver medals (watercolor and oil) at the World’s Fair in St. Louis in 1904.

National Academy of Design, New York, New York, 1891–1899
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1892, 1895–1904, 1909, 1910, 1925
The Boston Art Club, Boston, Massachusetts, 1892–1909
Rouen, France (gold medal)
Exhibition Paris et Province, France (gold medal)
Art Club of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (gold medal)
Louisiana Purchase International Exposition, St. Louis, Missouri, 1904 (medal)
Appalachian Exposition, Knoxville, Tennessee, 1910 (medal)
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, 1917 (prize)
Salons of America, New York, New York
Society of Independent Artists, New York, New York, 1937–1940

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