Selden Connor Gile (1928)

What is unique about the quality of light in California?

This painting shows how Gile was able to combine the effects of French Impressionism with the distinctive pastoral landscape of the San Francisco Bay Area. The dominant feature in Spring is the large orchard tree, whose fresh blossoms explode outward like fireworks bursting into opalescent colors. A critic for the Oakland Tribune wrote in 1927, “Color is Gile’s God. And he plays with it until it is about as brilliant and clean and stimulating to look upon as a mortal can make it.”

\ Artist

Selden Connor Gile

Death place:
San Rafael, California

Selden Connor Gile was a leader of the San Francisco Bay Area group of artists known as the Society of Six. Critics found his work difficult to describe, with one Oakland writer offering, “Gile is as much an expressionist as an impressionist, and perhaps more of a colorist than either. A ‘joyist’—that’s it. A better term than any of the verbal tags that we apply to artists.”

\ About


Oil on canvas


Museum purchase, gift of Jane Newhall