Edward Redfield painted some of the best examples of American Impressionism in the area of New Hope, Pennsylvania, where he was inspired by the outstanding beauty and tranquil lifestyle of the small town. His snow scenes, in particular, are among his finest achievements.
The area around New Hope, Pennsylvania became known as an artist's colony around the turn of the century. "In 1898, Redfield and his family moved to Center Bridge, Pennsylvania, and he began to concentrate on painting local snow scenes. He became known as the leading American painter of snow scenes and his monumental canvases are the antithesis of the generally small and sentimental snow scenes of nineteenth-century American landscape painters such as Thomas Doughty, Thomas Birch, George Henry Durrie and Regis Francois Gignoux. Redfield's works were broadly and rapidly painted. In fact, his paintings were executed 'on the go,' meaning that he executed them in one session, painting outdoors, usually completing a fifty by fifty-six inch canvas in eight hours. Redfield stated: 'When I first began to work, most artists used models in studios. What I wanted to do was to go outdoors and capture the look of a scene, whether it was a brook or a bridge, as it looked on a certain day.' Since Redfield often painted under brutal weather conditions, he often had to anchor his easel to trees in order to prevent the wind from carrying off the canvas. He had to use a substantial amount of linseed oil in order to keep his paint malleable, and he used a heavy glove in his palette hand. He made no preliminary sketches, but painted directly from nature. Hence, there are no finished Redfield drawings or watercolors depicting local snow scenes." (T. Folk, "Edward Redfield: The Most American Impressionist" in The Pennsylvania School of Landscape Painting, Allentown, Pennsylvania, 1984, p. 38)
Winter at the Farm, is an excellent example of the artist's unique impressionist style. In this work, Redfield has successfully translated the various colors of winter into paint. The white snow sparkles under the winter sky, while country life carries on quietly. Redfield enlivens the tranquility of the scene with vigorous brushstrokes and an active paint surface. All of these elements combine to create an original and solid composition.
This painting will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of Edward Redfield's work being compiled by Dr. Thomas Folk.