William Wendt was one of America's preeminent landscape painters. Born in Germany, he came to the United States in 1880 and briefly studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. Otherwise, Wendt was essentially self-taught. In 1896, he visited California with his friend George Gardner Symons. In 1898, the two artists travelled to Cornwall, England. Finally, in 1906, Wendt and his wife, the sculptor Julia Bracken Wendt, settled in Los Angeles.
I Lifted Mine Eyes Unto the Hills, 36"x50" O/C
Wendt was a highly sensitive and spiritual individual. His great love of nature is evident in his paintings, almost always verdant landscapes untouched and unpopulated by man. He stood in awe of God's creations and often titled his paintings with passages from the Bible, such as I LIFTED MINE EYES UNTO THE HILLS, winner of the Spalding Prize in 1922, has a tremendous sense of depth and atmosphere. In later paintings, Wendt concentrated on compositional form and surface treatment. Those works are much flatter in appearance with more attention to pattern and form than to realism. In his mature style, Wendt adopted a distinctive block-like application of paint which makes his work instantly recognizable.