Lines and Colors art blog

Irving Ramsay Wiles

Irving Ramsay Wiles
The son of Hudson River School painter Lemuel Maynard Wiles, Irving Ramsay Wiles began study with the great American painter William Merritt Chase at the age of 18. He studied with both Chase and noted painter James Carroll Beckworth at the Art Student’s League in New York, where he would later teach.

Wiles continued to study with Chase independently at his Tenth Street Studio, painting it’s interior (above, third down) as Chase often did (also here). Wiles and Chase were to remain friends throughout their lives.

Wiles also continued his studies in Paris at the Académie Julian and in the atelier of Emile Auguste Carolus-Duran, who is noted as John Singer Sargent’s teacher.

Sargent’s bravura brushwork had a distinct influence on Wiles’ portraiture (and I can’t imagine he was unaware of Cecilia Beaux), while his painterly approach to landscape, interiors and still life owes much to the influence of Chase.

Early in his career, Wiles worked as an illustrator for a number of American magazines. He eventually made a name for himself as a portrait artist. In his later years he allowed himself more time for landscapes and personal subjects.

Wiles is sometimes considered an American Impressionist painter (as is Chase, and sometimes Sargent), though that term is a somewhat vague classification.

There is a selection of his work on the Sotheby’s auction house Sold Lot Archives, some of which have both static and Zoomable versions. The latter allow you to see his brushwork in detail (albeit in a small window).

Similarly the Smithsonian Museum of American Art has several pieces in Zoomable versions, these can be viewed in a full screen window, including the stunning Russian Tea (above, second from the bottom).

A new monograph on Wiles, Irving Ramsay Wiles, N.A., 1861-1948: Portraits and Pictures, 1899-1948 by Geoffrey K. Fleming, is due to be published in January.


3 responses to “Irving Ramsay Wiles”

  1. Another fabulous lesser known artist, I saw one of his paintings in a museum years ago, can’t remember where though… it was LA, DC or maybe San Fran… a painting of a women standing in a yellow dress.

    Stunning painting ‘in the flesh’. Can’t seem to find it online

  2. I encountered Wiles’ work several years ago on the pages of excellent (and recommendable) Wendon Blake’s book Creative Color for the Oil Painter. It seems to me that Wiles heavily influenced Ron Hicks and some others contemporary painters..

  3. There are a few of Wiles’ works at the Metropolitan. Meticulous painter with strong sense of light and composition. Thanks sharing those images Charles.