Carmel-by-the-Sea

There is beauty to behold in the freshly washed sands, the silvery mist of early morning and the shades of afternoon fog that textures the endless western coastline. Yet, there’s something about the California light that is as legendary as the place where artists come to capture it on canvas.

Since the turn of another century, artists have come to the Monterey Peninsula, some as legacies of founding generations, others to cultivate individuality, all in search of the light. They come with their pens and their brushes, their chisels and their lenses to foster a personal vision of art yet a shared understanding that art has preceded them in the crashing sea and windswept shores, the sturdy cypress and mysterious green flash at the close of a scarlet sunset. It is, as the late landscape painter Francis McComas christened it, “the greatest meeting of land and water in the world.”

Although artists and writers, academicians and wealthy vacationers had been quietly retreating to the Central Coast for years, one of the more dramatic influences on the populous of the Peninsula was the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, an event whose artist refugees found shelter in the cabins and tents erected in Carmel-by-the-Sea. Their colony was preceded by the 1875 arrival of Frenchman Jules Tavernier, a flamboyant bohemian artist who stayed at the legendary French Hotel until his tab at the neighborhood bar reportedly contributed to his departure in 1880, a bit of colorful history that has never overshadowed his artistic contributions to the area.

Place Categories: Artist Colony

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