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Charles Rollo Peters Biography

Born into a wealthy San Francisco pioneer family, Peters studied locally at the San Francisco School of Design under Virgil Williams and Chris Jorgensen, and privately with Jules Tavernier.  In 1886 he went to Paris where he was a student of Gerome and Cormon at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and of Boulanger and Lefebvre at the Academie Julian.  While in Paris he exhibited at the Paris Salon and was greatly influenced by Alexander Harrison and James McNeil Whistler (who once remarked that Peters was the only artist other than himself who could paint nocturnes).  Peters returned to his home in 1890, married the following year, and again spent four years studying in Europe.  Upon his return to California, he settled in Monterey where he built a 30-acre estate called “Peters Gate.”  His home was a haven for other artists and he entertained lavishly until the money ran out.  Following tragic losses of both his wife and small daughter, Peters remarried in 1909.  The Monterey house was sold and the family went to Europe for two years.  The remainder of Peters’ life was spent in San Francisco with sporadic trips to the continent.  He died in San Francisco on March 1, 1928.