John Twachtman (1853–1902), Spring Landscape (Greenwich, Connecticut)

Posted on July 22nd, 2014 by

Spring Landscape (Greenwich, Connecticut)John Twachtman (1853–1902)
Spring Landscape (Greenwich, Connecticut), c. 1890–94
Oil on wood panel, 15 5⁄8 x 18 3⁄8 inches
Gift of the Reverend Richard L. Hillstrom

Twachtman is perhaps the most Impressionist of all in the group of American Impressionists known at The Ten (which also included Willard Metcalf, 1858–1925), as is clearly indicated in this loosely-depicted image of his rural home near Greenwich, Connecticut, the subject of many of his works from the 1890s. The artist bought the farm in 1890 and made adjustments to it early in his ownership. Photos from the early 1890s and several of the artist’s paintings show some of the changes, which included moving the roofline of the house considerably lower. Thus, this painting must date from not long after the artist purchased the place. Numerous related paintings exist, including a beautiful winter scene in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., titled Winter Harmony (c. 1890/1900) and depicting “Horseneck Brook,” located not far from the house on the parcel of land acquired with it. Hillstrom’s earliest art collecting was first of works by Swedish-American artists, then, after moving to Minnesota after leaving his first parish in Indiana, of Minnesota artists. He relates that while on a cruise to South America, he read an account of American art that emphasized Twachtman’s work, and on his next trip to New York to visit, he bought this painting, one of his favorites in his whole collection, from Milch Galleries. This purchase marked the beginning of his collecting of nationally-recognized American artists.

Text from the catalogue for the exhibition The Eight, The Ashcan School, and The American Scene in the Hillstrom Collection, presented in the Hillstrom Museum of Art February 25 through April 21, 2013.


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