Giuseppe Cadenasso Biography

Giuseppe Leone Cadenasso  (1858 - 1918)

Known as the "Corot of California," Giuseppe Cadenasso did lyrical, tonalist style landscape painting, spreading the colors with his fingers rather than brushes. He was especially noted for depictions of eucalyptus trees and sunlit marshes, and underscoring his association with native trees was the fact that his first studio, on Russian Hill, was called "The Sign of the Eucalyptus."

Born near Genoa, Italy on Jan. 2, 1858, Giuseppe Cadenasso, at age nine, sailed from Genoa to northern California where his uncle owned a vineyard.  As a young man he moved to San Francisco where he worked as a barber, waiter, and sang Italian opera at the Tivoli Opera House.  

His raw talents as an artist were discovered by Jules Tavernier who took him to the studio of Joseph Harrington who gave him free art lessons.  He later earned enough money for further study under Arthur Mathews and Raymond Yelland at the Mark Hopkins Institute.  He was also much encouraged by fellow student, Granville Redmond. Cadenasso was one of the most popular and respected San Francisco artists during the late 1890s and early 1900s.  From 1903 to 1917, he was an art instructor at Mills College and during that time, had a studio in Oakland.  In 1909, he was awarded the Gold Medal at the Alaska-Yukon Exposition in Seattle.

Exhibited:  Mechanics' Institute (SF), 1884-97;  San Francisco Art Association and Bohemian Club, 1894-1918;
California Midwinter Int'l Expo, 1894; Calif. State Fair, 1890s (gold medal);  Paul Elders (SF), 1905, 1912 (solos);  Alaska-Yukon Expo (Seattle), 1909 (gold medal);  Kanst Gallery (LA), 1915;  Panama Pacific International Exposition, 1915.

California Historical Society, St Mary's College (Moraga); Bohemian Club; Oakland Museum; Mills College (Oakland); Nevada State Capitol (portrait of Governor Jones); De Young Museum.

Source: Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"