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Emile Albert Gruppe

Emile Albert Gruppe: Emile Albert Gruppe

Emile Albert Gruppe

American

1896 - 1978

Emile Albert Gruppe was born in 1896 in Rochester, New York, into a family of artists. His father, a noted landscape painter, moved the family to the Netherlands, where he painted with The Hague school of art and worked as an art dealer. The Gruppe family returned to the United States in 1913. Like his brothers and sisters, who would become cellists, sculptors and watercolorists, Emile began his art career shortly after his return to the United States. 

He studied at the National Academy in New York City, the Grande Chaumiere in Paris, and with artists George Bridgeman, Charles Hawthorne, Richard Miller and George Chapman.

Gruppe moved to Gloucester, Massachusetts, on Cape Ann, in the early 1930s. There he established the Gloucester School of Painting with his mentor, John Fabian Carlson. He was a well-respected teacher and his school, where students painted mostly en plen air, was well attended.

Gruppe painted predominantly in oils and used a palette of rich colors for his graceful brushstrokes and his carefully organized compositions. His early influences were primarily the major Impressionists, including Claude Monet, but toward the middle of his career he began combining Impressionist techniques, most especially the hallmark use of light, with a grittier Realism, often depicting the working harbors scenes of Gloucester. Although he is best known for landscapes, he also painted portraits and other figural pieces.

Later on his career, Gruppe established schools in Cambridge and Jefforsonville, Vermont, and he wintered in Naples, Florida. He painted almost every day, even well into his 70s, producing nearly 200 works each year. Along with Anthony Thieme, Aldro Hibbard, Marguerite Pierson, Antonio Cirino and W.L. Stevens, Gruppe is regarded as one of the most prominent of Rockport artists, and his works are in the collections of major museums across the country.

Gruppe died in Gloucester in the fall of 1978.

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