|Two paintings deserving a place of honor in Sonoma,
Joshua Meador's Captain Vallejo's Casa
and Napoleon Primo Vallejo's Crashing Waves by Daniel Rohlfing
|Captain Vallejo's Casa c 1950-55 by Joshua Meador
Walt Disney Studio's Director of Animation Effects, 1930's-1965
Joshua Meador, Captain Vallejo's Casa c 1950-55,
Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery has two paintings we feel deserve to be displayed in a place of honor somewhere in Sonoma Valley.
One of these is Captain Vallejo's Casa, done on Sonoma Square in the early 1950's by Joshua Meador. It is of a rainy day crowd with umbrellas gathered in front of this historic building of the Vallejo family, just steps away from the Sonoma Mission on Sonoma Square.
Meador had a fascinating career. A graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago, he began at Disney Studios in the mid 1930's, rising quickly to become the studio's Director of Animation Effects, a position he held until his death in 1965.
Yet Joshua Meador thought of himself as a artist first. He often explained, "First and foremost, I'm a painter, Disney is my day job."
Captain Vallejo's Casa with period frame
Captain Vallejo's Casa shows a gathering of people at what used to be General Vallejo's brother's home on a wintery rainy day. Today, the building is The Swiss Hotel with its Italian restaurant known for great pizza. The gathering in the painting shows guests huddled on the balcony and on the street below. It appears to be late fall or winter because of the reddish brown sparse leaves on the trees.
"The Captain" in the title refers to General Vallejo's youngest brother who ran the garrison at the Mission during the Bear Flag Revolt in 1846. Today, a bronze statue of General Vallejo is across the street. The bronze statue sits on a park bench, as if ready for passers-by to take his photo and pose for a selfie.
Joshua Meador visited Sonoma County often during the early 1950's, painting coastal and small town scenes throughout Sonoma County. In Hollywood, he was the Director of Animation Effects for Walt Disney Studios beginning there in the mid 1930's. Today he is considered a pioneering giant within the animation effects industry, and made major contributions to many of the Disney classics of that era. As a fine art painter, he was a graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago and he loved painting landscapes and seascapes, mostly along the California Coast. Most of his activity was in Sonoma, Monterey and Mendocino Counties. His work was critically praised and distinctive with an expressive impasto heavy palette knife technique all his own.
|Crashing Waves 1895 by Napoleon Primo Vallejo
(Benicia and General Vallejo's youngest son)
Napoleon Primo Vallejo 1850-1923, Crashing Waves 1895, oil on canvas, 10 x 22
Napoleon was 44 or 45 years old when he created this seascape just north of Bodega Bay
Napoleon Primo Vallejo was born in 1850 when California became a state and young Napoleon grew up with the state. As a teenager, he read stories of the War Between the States happening back East. He would have been 15 yers old when news of Abraham Lincoln's assassination reached California. As a young man, he saw the opening of the transcontinental railroad and California's meteoric expansion as people poured in and California grew. When he was 56 years old, he witnessed the horror of San Francisco's Earthquake and fire in 1906 and the resurrection of modern San Francisco.
Napoleon was the youngest son of Benicia and General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo. He was born in "La Casa Grande" (destroyed by fire except for the servants quarters in 1867) just steps away from the Sonoma Mission. He grew up in "Lachryma Montis," the Vallejo family home in Sonoma. When Napoleon was 15, his father built a small cottage out back which came to be known as "Napoleon's Cottage." The cottage still stands today. Napoleon had a passion for the outdoors and painting. His paintings were both landscapes and seascapes. In his later years, he was a writer and journalist, documenting his family's history. Some of his writings were published in the San Francisco Chronicle in the early 1920's. Napoleon died in 1923 at the age of 73.
Crashing Waves with period gold frame
Both Joshua Meador's Captain Vallejo's Casa, and Napoleon Primo Vallejo's Crashing Waves are available for sale. For interested persons or groups, we would be pleased to arrange for a showing of either or both paintings in Sonoma. Email, call or text us, 707-875-2911 / Art@BodegaBayHeritageGallery.com.
|Joshua Meador's Captain Vallejo's Casa on our website | Napoleon Primo Vallejo's page on our website | Back to the Top
1807 – 1890
|... more about
the Swiss Hotel, the Vallejo family,
and the new bronze statue of General Vallejo now on Sonoma Square
Benicia and Mariano's four sons
Napoleon's Cottage at Lachryma Montis
in Sonoma, CA
Captain Vallejo's Casa in Sonoma today
now the Swiss Hotel
a fine hotel and Italian restaurant
Captain Vallejo's Casa in Sonoma in 1909
|from the Press Democrat, Saturday Aug 6, 2022
General Vallejo and sculptor Jim Callahan
|from our July 2017 issue
|Santa Rosa's Press Democrat reports,
"General Vallejo gets his own statue
in the Sonoma Plaza."
General Vallejo laid out the design for the town of Sonoma and its plaza 180 years ago. On June 24th, 2017, the bronze statue of the General was unveiled on the Sonoma Town Plaza. The General, seated on a park bench like a beloved grandfather, is keeping eye out for his town and willing to tell its story.
Jim Callahan, the statue’s sculptor, said the sitting position is part of a genre of similar works around the world of other great figures ranging from Gandhi, to Mark Twain, Winston Churchill and Albert Einstein. Here's a LINK to Clark Mason's Press Democrat article.
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