Arthur Mathews and Lucia Mathews originated the California Decorative Style, which is conceptually and visually related to Art Nouveau, Arts and Crafts, and the pre-Raphaelites. They emphasized both the human figure and the landscape, and they were major figures in the art and cultural world of the western United States circa 1890-1920.

In addition to paintings and illustration, they produced amazingly carved and decorated frames, cabinets, and chairs with the functional-art sensibility of the Arts and Crafts movement. Their artwork is relaxed but elegant, with the vivid greens, golds, and reds of California hills and flowers. It is extremely striking work, warm and lively, and while they are less well-known than many other artists of the period, I recommend seeking out anything of theirs that you can find.

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