By Alexandra A Jopp
John Henry Twachtman, a member of the successful exhibiting group known as the “Ten American Painters,” was best known for his impressionist seasonal landscapes. His style varied widely throughout his career, to the point that essayist M. Therese Southgate described him as “a man of many moods” who “especially liked the mysterious in nature: the full moon, clouds, fog, snow, the country, isolation.”1
|John Henry Twachtman. Arques–la–Bataille, 1885.|
|John Henry Twachtman. Winter Landscape.|
Woodland Stream in a Winter Landscape. Private Collection.
John Henry Twachtman. Edge of the Emerald Pool, Yellowstone. 1895.
|John Henry Twachtman. Mother and Child, c. 1897. Private Collection.|
|John Henry Twachtman. On The Terrace. ca. 1890-1900.|
From fall 1880 until December 1881, Twachtman traveled and worked in Europe, with extended stays in Holland and Italy. In 1883, he studied in Paris at the prestigious Académie Julian with Gustave Boulanger and Jules-Joseph Lefebvre. He concentrated on landscapes, and his French-period style was the opposite of his Munich approach. The works of European contemporaries affected his painting, and his style began moving toward a lighter pallete, thinner layers and more thoughtfully organized compositions. He became less enamored of strong contrasts, depicting mildly lit scenes in which light green and silver gray dominated. He also began to work extensively in pastels.
|John Henry Twachtman. View of Venice. 1877.|
JOHN HENRY TWACHTMAN (1853-1902)
Pond in Spring, ca. early 1890s
Oil on wood board
John Henry Twachtman. Spring Stream, 1899. Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, United States.
2: Who Was Who in American Art 1564-1975 (Madison, Conn.: Sound View Press, 1999), p. 3356.
Twachtman, John Henry, letter to J. Alden Weir, December 16, 1891, Greenwich, Conn., from Dorothy Weir Young, Life and Letters of J. Alden Weir, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1960.