Jane Berlandina

Theme/Style – Post-Impressionism, Modernism. Portraits, still lifes

Media – Oils, murals, watercolors

Artistic Focus – Among the canvases painted by Jane Berlandina during her career were portraits, landscapes, genre and still lifes, created in a variety of media, including oil, watercolors and tempera. She was best known for her watercolors, which reflected the teachings of Dufy and featured jarring colors, which she juxtaposed for brilliant effect. Her use of color was said to presage the “push-pull” theories of color use that Hans Hofmann later applied to his work.

Career Highlights –

• Berlandina was born in France, where she studied costume design and was a painting student of Raoul Dufy.
• She immigrated to the United States to teach art and upon her marriage to architect Henry Howard, she moved to San Francisco.
• She also worked as a set designer for the San Francisco Opera Company.
• One of the artists commissioned by the Public Works of Art Project to create murals for Coit Tower’s inside walls: Her mural favored a reductive palette of reds, browns and chartreuse outlined in white, a highly fluid, modernist line, and the use of egg tempera rather than the fresco and oil techniques common in other works. Her mural, Home Life, differed in tone from the works produced by her fellow artists. The subject matter, too, was lighter, showing people living their lives in three rooms in a home of the period.