Musée No:379.008Regular price $32.27
Sunlight Resting (Artist's Wife)
Artist: John Henry Twachtman
John Henry Twachtman (1853 –1902) was an American painter best known for his impressionist landscapes, though his painting style moved towards Tonalism. He was said to be witty and irreverent, and he was known for playing practical jokes on unsuspecting friends. He was founding member of “The Ten”,with amongst others John Frank Weston Benson and Thomas Willmer Dewing, also included in our collection. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio to German immigrant parents. He received his first art training there under Frank Duveneck. As with so many of his contemporaries he moved to Europe for further training and spent two years in Munich. After a brief trip back to the States he moved to Paris, to the Académie Julian (1883 -85). At this point his style and palette shifted dramatically away from the browns of Munich to a soft, grey and green more abstract tonalist style. He was also deeply impressed by the painting of Whistler and the impressionists. It was during this time he painted what some art historians consider to be his greatest masterpieces, including Arques-la-Bataille, and Springtime.
In 1886, he returned to Connecticut, buying a farm in Greenwich. His painting style changed again, this time to a highly personal impressionist technique. He captured many landscapes of his farm, garden and waterfall painting the scenes in different seasons and times of day. He became incredibly skilled at depicting winter scenes, more tonalist studies in whiteness. Twachtman continued to create etchings, drawings in pastel and taught painting at the Art Students League from 1889 onwards. He received a silver medal in painting at the Columbian Exposition; the same year, he also exhibited his work with Claude Monet at a New York gallery.
He painted many portraits of his wife and children between 1889 and 1902, unusual in a career devoted mostly to landscape works. He captured Martha, his wife, seated comfortably enjoying the sunshine in front of the family’s small farmhouse. The soft, glowing colours and blurred outlines along with the rich yellows and greens of the background make you feel as though you could be there with them on that warm, gentle summer day.