Top
Biography
© Stanley Roseman and Ronald Davis - All Rights Reserved
Visual imagery and website content may not be reproduced in any form whatsoever.
STANLEY ROSEMAN
LANDSCAPES
"truly beautiful landscape painting"
- Anzeiger von Saanen, Gstaad
December Morning - View from Chardonne Overlooking Lake Geneva, 1987
Oil on panel, 16 x 39.5 cm
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen
     A month after Roseman painted December Morning, the Chief Curator of the Museums of France, François Bergot, praising the ''very beautiful landscape,'' acquired the painting for the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen, of which he was the Director. He had previously acquired the artist's work on the monastic life for the Rouen Museum, ''whose collections of paintings and drawings are among the most complete and most renowned in France'' (French Master Drawings from the Rouen Museum).[2] The acquisitions of Roseman's work include four drawings and the oil on canvas portrait Dom Henry, 1978, of which the Chief Curator of the Museums of France expressed "my admiration for this work imbued with insight and spirituality.'' (See "The Monastic Life," "Ora et Labora - Prayer and Work," "Exhibition at the Albertina," and "Excerpts from the Artist's Memoirs.")
2. Spring Evening - View of Mont-Pèlerin and Lake Geneva, 1988
Oil on panel, 17 x 45 cm
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen
"Stanley Roseman's drawings show the many facets of his great talents as a draughtsman."[6]
4. Birches on a Hillside near the Abbey of San Pedro de Cardeña, Castile, 1998
Chalks on paper, 20 x 30 cm
Collection of the artist
11. A Summer Afternoon in Lorraine, 2009
Oil on canvas, 30 x 80 cm
Private collection, Illinois
9. Winter Landscape, 2008
Oil on canvas, 35 x 76 cm
Private collection, Virginia
LANDSCAPES constitute a major part of Stanley Roseman's oeuvre. The artist's landscapes, painted and drawn in the open air throughout the changing seasons, express a deep feeling for nature and complement his ''profound interest in the human condition in portraying different kinds of people, professions, social or artistic groups'' (Bibliothèque Nationale de France).[1]
"The mountains, the water, the light - all is magic.''
- Bibliothèque Nationale de France
Stanley Roseman at his easel in a snowy field in the French countryside, 2007. The artist is seated under a wide umbrella, which protects the canvas from potential snow flurries on a cold, overcast day. Roseman's working method is to cover the back of the canvas with a sheet of protective cardboard. The artist is wearing  a workman's apron and woolen gloves without finger tips, a winter clothing accessory called "mitaines" in French. Placed on the crossbars of his portable easel, his paint box serves as a worktable.
     Roseman writes in his journal: "Spring, summer, and fall can be very pleasant times of the year to be at my easel or with my drawing book on a grassy hillside or in some secluded valley. But when the North Wind brings ever colder days, I willingly endure the cold for the inspiration that also comes from painting and drawing en plein air in winter.''
     Birches on a Hillside near the Abbey of San Pedro de Cardeña, Castile, 1998, (fig. 4), is a striking composition which Roseman drew in black and brown chalks, with touches of white chalk. A group of tall, bare birches with slender branches rise above the rural terrain.
En Plein Air
Biography: Page 8
     A strong diagonal divides the composition and separates the dark shrubbery in the foreground from the white expanse of the picture plane, thus giving a bold abstract quality to this beautiful landscape drawing. Roseman has effectively rendered the distant hills, pastures, and woodlands in nuanced tones of bistre and ochre chalks. Earth colors and the reserved areas of the white paper accentuate the feeling of late autumn in Castile and the coming of winter.
     At his easel in the countryside in Lorraine, Roseman painted the panoramic Winter Landscape, 2008, presented below, (fig. 9). Under a vast sky of gray-blue, pale-magenta, and light-ochre, a grove of tall, slender trees stands on a snowy plot in a plowed field. The artist has finely rendered the grove with its filigree of bare branches set against the variegated hues of winter.
1. Stanley Roseman - Dessins sur la Danse à l'Opéra de Paris / Drawings on the Dance at the Paris Opéra
   (text in French and English), Bibliothèque Nationale de France, 1996, p. 10.
2. Pierre Rosenberg and François Bergot, French Master Drawings from the Rouen Museum,
    Washington, D.C.: International Exhibitions Foundation, 1981), p. vii.
3. Fédia Muller, Dostoyevsky Archives, Montreux, letter to S. A. Ivanova from Dostoyevsky, Vevey, 5 July, 1868.
4. Giorgio Vasari, Vasari on Technique, (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1960), p. 205.
5. Nicolas Turner, Florentine Drawings of the sixteenth century, (London: British Museum, 1986), p. 189.
6. Stanley Roseman - Dessins sur la Danse à l'Opéra de Paris, p. 12.
7. Alexander Porteous, The Forest in Folklore and Mythology, (Mineola: Dover Publications, Inc., 2002), pp. 248, 249.
     Roseman's landscape drawings and paintings are a synthesis of the artist's direct observation of nature and personal expression in the creative process. The splendid landscape painting A Summer Afternoon in Lorraine, 2009, is presented below, (fig. 11).
     The composition is divided into horizontal bands of darks and lights. The plowed field in the foreground in earth colors of burnt sienna and burnt umber extends the horizontal breadth of the canvas. Receding into pictorial space are gray-brown woods, snowy fields, and gray-green forests. Roseman has created an impressive painting that conveys both a sense of stillness on the land and of movement in the iridescent, wintry sky.
     The woodland, in deep blues with accents of greens, gold, and magenta, fills the horizon and brings a dramatic diagonal element to the composition. The crest of the high hill is in sharp relief against the beautiful, afternoon sky, whose chromatic variations applied with bold brushstrokes complement the colors of the terrain. With painterly textures and vibrant palette, Roseman's landscape is a celebration of summer in all of its glory.
     Roseman's landscapes are distinctive in their division of pictorial space. In the present work, the pasture in the foreground is nuanced in green hues with subtle transitions to gold-ochre and soft shades of blue that are repeated in the finely rendered trees, hedges, and grove beyond, lit by the afternoon sun. The open area to the right of the stately oak invites the viewer to proceed farther into the spacial dimension of the picture, where long, blue shadows pattern the bright green pasture.
    "Driving into the countryside with my art supplies," Roseman recounts, "I turned onto a rural road that leads to a beautiful view where trees and shrubs demarcate green pastures and the great woodland rises in the distance. The summer sky was to me like a kaleidoscope of colors, from light tones of blue, violet, and crimson to magenta and ultramarine deep. I very much appreciate the quietude and the long, summer afternoons at my easel in the open air."
     The northeastern region of Lake Geneva has been a creative milieu for generations of writers, artists, and musicians. The novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky, who came to Vevey in 1868, writes in correspondence to his niece: "The mountains, the water, the light - all is magic.''[3]
     In a pasture high on a mountainside above Lake Geneva, Roseman painted a marvelous panorama of the great lake in the glow of an evening mist. Spring Evening - View of Mont-Pèlerin and Lake Geneva, (Soirée de printemps, vue du Mont Pèlerin et du lac de Genève), 1988, (fig. 2, below), entered the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen, that same year. Equally enamored of "this very beautiful landscape," the Chief Curator of the Museums of France acquired the painting as a companion work to December Morning, representing two times of day traditionally devoted to prayer and meditation.
     Spring Evening takes the viewer on a visual flight from dark pines in the foreground and steep, wooded slopes with light-green pastures; to the undulating coastline far below where lie the towns of Montreux, Clarens, La Tour-de-Peilz, and Vevey. Mont-Pèlerin rises in the distance and beyond, the silhouette of the Jura Mountains bordering on France. With fine brushwork Roseman renders the mist rising from the lake and the sun's subdued, golden reflection in the pale, blue-green water.
     Although drawings have traditionally served as studies for compositions to be realized in another medium, drawings can be autonomous works of art, as are Roseman's drawings. A versatile and prolific draughtsman, Roseman employs a variety of drawing materials to express a diversity of subjects, including landscapes.
Stanley Roseman drawing on a hillside near
the Abbey of San Pedro de Cardeña, Castile,1998.
     On an early morning in December, 1987, with distant Alpine peaks silhouetted against a golden light of dawn and a mist ascending the hillside where Roseman stood at his easel, the artist painted December Morning - View from Chardonne Overlooking Lake Geneva, (Matin de Décembre - Vue de Chardonne sur le Lac Léman), (above). The breathtaking view from the Swiss village of Chardonne, on Mont-Pèlerin, takes in a panorama of the eastern end of the great lake, the awesome peaks of the Dents du Midi, and a range of the Savoy Alps.
Landscape painting by Stanley Roseman, “December Morning - View from Chardonne Overlooking Lake Geneva,” 1987, oil on panel, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen. © Stanley Roseman
Landscape painting by Stanley Roseman , “Spring Evening - View of Mont-Pèlerin and Lake Geneva,” 1988, oil on panel, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen. © Stanley Roseman
Landscape painting by Stanley Roseman , “Winter Landscape,” 2008, oil on canvas, Private collection, Virginia. © Stanley Roseman
Landscape painting by Stanley Roseman , “A Summer Afternoon in Lorraine,” 2009, oil on canvas, Private collection, Illinois. © Stanley Roseman
Stanley Roseman at his easel in a snowy field in the French countryside, 2007. © Photo by Ronald Davis
3. A Wooded Vale in Autumn in the Ardennes, 2001
Chalks and pastel on paper, 28 x 38 cm
Private collection, France
     A Wooded Vale in Autumn in the Ardennes, 2001, (fig. 3), is a vibrant landscape in chalks and pastels drawn from a hilltop in northeastern France. In this impressive composition, Roseman creates a steep perspective into the valley where woods are bright with autumnal colors.
     The artist's fine rendering of the trees in the foreground is complemented by broad areas of cinnabar green, yellow-green, and turquoise fields ascending to woods that crown the crest of the opposite hill.
Landscape Drawings
    Drawings account for a great part of Roseman's oeuvre. Speaking about the importance of drawing, the artist acknowledges Giorgio Vasari: "The celebrated sixteenth-century Florentine architect, painter, and author of Lives of the Artists affirmed that drawing is the animating principle of the creative process.[4] Vasari, who was the first great collector of drawings, esteemed drawings for their inherent value."[5]
     The rural terrain of Castile is the subject of a suite of fine drawings exemplified by the landscape presented below, (fig. 5), that Roseman drew during his sojourn in 1998 at the Abbey of San Pedro de Cardeña in the province of Burgos.
     Roseman and his colleague Ronald Davis had received a gracious invitation from Abbot Marcos García on the occasion of the 900th anniversary of the founding of the Cistercian Order. The Abbey is a member of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, also known as the Trappist Order. (See the website pages "Benedictines, Cistercians, Trappists, and Carthusians.")
     In November 1998, Abbot Marcos heartily welcomed back Roseman and Davis to the Trappist abbey, where the artist had drawn the monks some nineteen years before. The kindly Abbot, who was greatly encouraging of Roseman's work, invited the two friends to stay through December to spend Christmas with the Community, which Roseman and Davis gratefully accepted.
Landscape drawing by Stanley Roseman , “Birches on a Hillside near the Abbey of San Pedro de Cardeña,” 1998, chalks on paper, Private collection, Switzerland. © Stanley Roseman
Landscape drawing by Stanley Roseman, “A Wooded Vale in Autumn,” 2001, chalks and pastels on paper, Private collection, France. © Stanley Roseman
Stanley Roseman drawing on a hillside near the Abbey of San Pedro de Cardeña, Castile,1998. Photo © Ronald Davis
Page 8  -  Landscapes
     Through his work, Roseman shares with the viewer the artist's commune with Nature. On a warm afternoon in late May, Roseman carried his drawing book, shoulder bag of drawing materials, and folding stool into a grove of birch trees. The artist employs a combination of chalks and pastels for a great number of his landscape drawings. Pastel is a medium akin to painting, as much as to drawing. Paper is the traditional support of a work in pastel, and therefore works in pastels are generally referred to as drawings.
     A Grove of Birches, 2009, (fig. 7), is a beautiful landscape in which Roseman combines chalks and pastels in a painterly use of the mediums.
     The composition of tall birch trees with slender branches gives the viewer a sense of standing in the grove. The birches in the foreground establish a diagonal pictorial element repeated in the depiction of tree trunks and branches and the impression of cascading light.
     The artist has effectively rendered sunlight filtering through the grove shimmering with greens and blues. The luminous, silvery-white birches stand in strong relief against the woodland's dark greens and browns.
7. A Grove of Birches, 2009
Chalks and pastels on paper, 56 x 37 cm
Private collection, Belgium
     Roseman notes in his journal: "I have read that the thin yet durable bark of birch trees was much used in ancient times as a pliable and transportable surface for writing upon before the invention of paper.''[7]
     The beautiful and hardy birch tree with its white bark appeals to the artist's aesthetics as does the birch's association with writing appeals to the artist's love of books.
6. Spring Afternoon,
White Blossoms on a Hillside in Lorraine
, 2015
Oil on canvas, 40 x 60 cm
Private collection, France
     A variety of conifers and deciduous trees are depicted in Roseman's landscapes. Presented below, (fig. 5), from the artist's landscapes from France is the drawing Willows along a Country Road in the Orne, 1999.
Painting and Drawing in the Four Seasons
8. Pasture and Woodland in Autumn, 2004
Oil on canvas, 46 x 40 cm
Private collection, Belgium
     Roseman recounts: "On an excursion to paint and draw landscapes in Lorraine, I came upon a grove of birch trees on the edge of a hillside pasture secluded in woods where I was inspired to set up my easel and paint. It was October and the woodland was vibrant with yellows and golds. . . ."
     Pasture and Woodland in Autumn, 2004, (fig. 8, below), is a splendid painting of which the artist renders the landscape with a freedom of brushwork and a harmonious juxtaposition of warm colors of the fall foliage, accented by passages of cerulean blue and complemented by vivid greens of the grassy hillside.
     The engaging composition is based on a geometric division of the canvas in three distinct areas of earth, woods, and sky. With painterly textures, strong lights and darks, and fluent strokes of autumnal colors, Roseman  renders the triangular expanse of woodland in contrast to the sweeping diagonal of the verdant pasture and the rectangular pictorial space of the pearl-gray sky.
     The deep perspective of the woodland is painted in rich tones of maroon and burnt sienna, with touches of white of distant birches. Six birches stand in the near middle distance and bring vertical elements to the composition. The birches with their white trunks and golden foliage enhance the beauty of this autumn landscape.
Landscape painting by Stanley Roseman , “Pasture and Woodland in Autumn,” 2004, oil on canvas, Private collection, Belgium. © Stanley Roseman
5. Willows along a Country Road in the Orne, 2002
Chalks and pastels on paper, 35 x 35 cm
Private collection, Switzerland
10. Pines on a Foggy Afternoon in the Vosges Mountains, 2000
Chalks and pastels on paper, 38 x 28 cm
Private collection, France
     Far from city or seacoast, Roseman took up paper, chalks, and pastels to draw on a foggy autumn afternoon in the Vosges Mountains.
     The composition of the present work has a triangular leitmotif in the shapes of the majestic pines and their wing-like branches becoming enveloped in fog. The blending of the chalks and pastels almost completely covers the paper surface in the artist's rendering of forms and aerial perspective. Roseman reserves a circular area of the white paper for the sun shining through the fog, and in so doing, the artist adds a luminous accent to this beautiful landscape drawing.
Landscape drawing by Stanley Roseman , “A Foggy Morning in the Vosges,” 2000, chalks and pastels on paper, Private collection, France. © Stanley Roseman
     Roseman became familiar with the Orne, a département in northwestern France, from his sojourns over the years at the Abbey of La Trappe.
     The two willow trees in this eloquent drawing are rendered with chalks and pastels in subdued tones of gray-greens and browns on gray paper and the achromatic contrast of velvety black chalk and white pastel. The delicacy of the fine branches are complemented by abstracted passages of foliage in an asymmetrical composition, much favored in oriental art.
      Roseman's landscapes include depictions of different terrain and weather conditions, as with the drawing Pines on a Foggy Afternoon in the Vosges Mountains, 2000, (fig. 10). The evocation of that special atmospheric condition in Roseman's work brings to mind Whistler's representation of a view across the Thames on a foggy winter morning or Winslow Homer's painting of his studio in an afternoon fog on the coast of Maine.
     Nature's renewal after the dormancy of winter is beautifully expressed in the superb painting Spring Afternoon, White Blossoms on a Hillside in Lorraine, 2015, (fig. 6, below). The region of Lorraine in northeastern France is abundant with pastures and woodlands. Roseman writes in his journal: "I was looking forward to painting in the month of April when early spring-flowering shrubs enhance the countryside that I have come to know through my work. On a pleasant afternoon I packed the car with my paint box, portable easel, travel bag of art materials, and several canvases of different dimensions which gave me the possibility to decide on a composition on location. Taking a familiar route out of town and continuing along a rural road, I saw luminous white blossoms flourishing on a steep hillside that inspired me for a spring landscape."
     The dramatic composition of the present work is divided with a strong diagonal into two equal segments of land and sky. Roseman renders the thinly veiled, spring sky with tonal harmonies of pearl-gray, silver-gray, pale ochre, and light blue. The woods rising on the crest of the hill are described with fine brushwork in the depiction of the foliage. Slender birches in contrast to the dark hues of the woodland carry the viewer's eye to the budding branches and lace-like treetops.
     Bordering the woods, white blossoms begin their descent and increase in brilliance as they approach and fill the foreground. The blossoms are tinted in light blue and pale ochre that reflect the tones in the veiled sky. The curvilinear stems of the blossoms convey an impression of movement animating the painting. Hues of umber and sienna are visible beneath passages of new, green growth on a hillside with white blossoms heralding spring  in Lorraine.
Landscape drawing by Stanley Roseman , “Willows,” 2002, chalks and pastels on paper, Private collection, Switzerland. © Stanley Roseman
Landscape painting by Stanley Roseman , “Spring Afternoon, White Blossoms on a Hillside in Lorraine,” 20015, oil on canvas, Private collection, France. © Stanley Roseman
Landscape drawing by Stanley Roseman , “A Grove of Birches,” 2009, chalks and pastels on paper, Private collection, Belgium. © Stanley Roseman