January 28, 2023

From Holland to Falmouth, Donated Melchers Painting Comes to Belmont

The Crimson Rambler

The Crimson Rambler

Christmas came early to Gari Melchers Home and Studio this year, in the form of an anonymous donation of a significant painting. Gari Melchers painted The Crimson Rambler at his residence in Holland sometime around 1910 to 1915.

After Melchers sold the painting in 1919, it was owned by several individuals before its acquisition by the anonymous donor. In the coming weeks, the painting will go on exhibit with other examples of Gari Melchers’ work, helping better define and interpret the artist’s own stylistic journey.

The Crimson Rambler is a vivid example of the Impressionist style the artist adopted in the latter stage of his career. The vibrant floral arbor, which gives the work its title, frames a background view that includes a small statue. To Belmont visitors during the Melchers era, or to museumgoers today, the cherubic boy—known as a putto in classical artistic vernacular—might seem familiar. The original figure, carved in wood, was displayed out of doors at the home of Gari and Corinne Melchers in Egmond aan der Hoef, Holland, and later on the lawn of Belmont after the couple purchased the estate in 1916. Generous support from the Garden Club of Virginia allowed a bronze copy of the statue to be outside while the wooden original resides in Belmont’s sunroom. Read a related blog post.