Marvin Dalander Paints Around the World

Marvin Dalander Paints Around the World


Artist Marvin Dalander has an affinity for landscapes and landmarks inspired from his around-the-world travels.

Alameda artist Marvin Dalander travels the globe to find subjects for his canvases.

A lush Tuscan field invites you to take your shoes off and run barefoot through the grass, except it no longer exists, paved over as a plaza so the new landlord could drive his car right up to the ancient manor. But the bucolic scene was captured and preserved by Marvin Dalander in oil paint and hangs in his studio in Alameda, where he has lived since 2003.

Dalander’s late wife was in the travel business, and he figures they took at least 30 cruises over 30 years. He had dabbled with painting, and after retiring from his career as a civil engineer, he combined his passions and painted scenes from his excursions to Italy, France, Spain, and Mexico, working from his sketches and photos.

He paints traditional and recognizable landmarks, like Florence’s Ponte Vecchio and Il Duomo di Firenze, as well as quotidian scenes like tourists enjoying lunch outside a restaurant. On the back of one painting, he listed what he ate there that day in 2010, a meal of eggplant lasagna, and lamb chops.

Dalander lights up in relating the stories behind his paintings, such as that of a little castle looking down a hill toward Bergerac, surrounded by a “pretend moat.” The property traded hands repeatedly between the English and French during the Hundred Years’ War, he said, but was protected because of the Sauternes wine the family had produced for centuries.

Over the past 15 years, he has traveled every summer, spending a few weeks in each country. Some destinations were selected simply because artist friends established caches of paint for his use there, sparing him the hassle of getting squishy tubes through airport security. “Traveling is nice, if you’re still up for it,” said Dalander, who just turned 80, and is still up for it. His favorite destination? “It’s always the next place I’m going to go,” he said. “Wherever it is.”

More of the artist’s work can be seen at his studio, 2021 Clement Ave., Ste. 5B, 510-910-0064, and at