Ludmilla Welch (1867-1925)
Cabin in Steep Ravine
Ludmilla and Thaddeus Welch were renown landscape painters at the turn of the 20th century, who regularly spent time in Bolinas, socializing with locals and visiting Nellie Waterhouse at her studio on Wharf Road.
Thaddeus Welch was an established artist, returning to the United States after years of training in Europe, when he met teenage Ludmilla Pilat. Accepted by her prosperous Austrian family, Thaddeus and Ludmilla married in 1883; he was thirty-nine and she was sixteen. In 1894 Thaddeus and Ludmilla moved to Marin County. Impoverished but happy, they camped in the coastal mountains until eventually building their rustic cabin on Bolinas Ridge, in the area they named Steep Ravine. Ludmilla developed into a highly accomplished painter in her own right, and side by side they painted luminous landscapes that garnered recognition and patrons. But as was often true in their era, talented wives stayed in the shadow of their talented husbands. Today, both Ludmilla and Thaddeus are considered masters of early California landscape painting.