Walter Elmer Schofield 1867-1944

On the Canal, Bruges

  • 24 x 29 3/4 inches (61 x 75.6 cm)
  • Oil on canvas
  • Signed lower right: Schofield
  • 1908

Why We Love It

Schofield travelled constantly throughout his painting career, and he is particularly known for his snow scenes of Bucks County as well as his marine vistas of the Cornish coast. However, he also travelled throughout much of Europe, including Holland and Belgium where he was inspired by the Dutch Masters. This painting demonstrates Schofield’s ability to capture a distinct sense of place, using the rich and textural brushwork that is characteristic of his unique painting style.

The Value

Schofield remains an important figure among the Pennsylvania Impressionists, even though most of his life was spent away from the region.  In all of his paintings, he maintains a clear and recognizable artistic style that speaks to his unique approach to the landscape.  Any collection of Pennsylvania Impressionism should include one of his works, and this particular example brilliantly demonstrates Schofield’s best traits.

Artist Background

1867: Born in Philadelphia; 1886: Graduated from Central High School. Attended Swarthmore College for one year; c.1887: Traveled to San Antonio, Texas, where he produced a number of drawings that chronicled life out West; 1889: Enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He likely studied with Thomas Anshutz. Became friends with Robert Henri, John Sloan, William Glackens and Edward Redfield; 1892-95: Traveled to France. Enrolled at the Academie Julian, then moved on to Fountainbleau and Brittany; 1895: Returned to Philadelphia. Attended Henri’s weekly meetings at his studio; 1895-97: Returned to Europe. Traveled to England, France, Belgium, and Holland; 1897: Returned to Philadelphia. Began painting local snow scenes. Married Muriel Redmayne, a British citizen visiting Philadelphia; 1901: Moved to artist’s colony of St. Ives, which was noted for its plein air landscape painters. From this time forward, Schofield divided his time between England and the U.S. Awarded First Hallgarten Prize from the National Academy of Design; 1902: Visited Redfield’s home in Bucks County. Began painting bold, vigorous snow scenes directly from nature; 1915: Awarded medal of honor from Panama-Pacific International Exposition; 1920s: Began painting landscape in more vibrant and brilliant colors; 1930s: Produced series of images from American West; 1940s: Travel restrictions during World War II forced Schofield to remain in England for duration of war; 1944: Died.