Carmel Magazine

Summer/Fall 2020

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116 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S U M M E R / F A L L 2 0 2 0 Collection of Joaquin Turner, Joaquin Turner Gallery Charles Rollo Peters, "Castro Adobe," circa 1910 T hough he lived in Monterey for less than five years, from 1874-79, French-born Tavernier is widely acknowledged as the godfather and founder of the Peninsula art community. "A classically trained painter, he was already well established in Europe and the US," explains Terry Trotter. "Tavernier was sent west on assign- ment from Harper's Weekly to provide images of the West. By December 1874, he had established his bohemian studio near Alvarado Street in Monterey which quickly became the social hub of a fledgling group of Peninsula artists." "Tavernier had an interesting style," says Turner. "He experimented with different lighting effects, sort of pushed the envelope. He wasn't afraid to include emotion and drama in his work; it was a departure from the literal depic- tions popular during the era. This area has so much mood, mystery and romance and he explored and expertly captured that." A true Bohemian, the painter—known among peers as "The Knight of the Palette"— counted among his many friends other artists, including writer Robert Louis Stevenson. Jules Tavernier (1844-1889) D ue to his moody and romantic night-time oils of the crumbling Monterey-area adobes—known as "nocturnes"—Peters earned monikers such as "Poet of the Night" and "The Prince of Darkness." His social life inspired "The Duke of Monterey" and "Sir Charles." In Peters' day, Monterey was a sparsely popu- lated outpost of melting adobes and sprawling ranchos left over from the Spanish days. "Peters viewed Monterey as a mystical place and he was a master of capturing that sense of myster y and intrigue," Turner says. "He didn't spell ever ything out, but left room for interpretation. That takes the viewer into his paintings." He studied under Jules Tavernier for many years. "One prominent critic of his day said that every good collection should include one of Peters' exceptional nocturnes," Terry Trotter says. Peters was highly commercially successful in his lifetime and by all accounts his money went out as fast as it came in. Peters was famous among his fellow artists for the lavish parties he threw at the home he built on 30 acres south- west of downtown Monterey. That neighbor- hood is still known as "Peters Gate." Charles Rollo Peters (1862-1928)

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