Monday, January 24, 2022

Twachtman Exploring Different Styles

John Henry Twachtman (1853-1902) is best known for his atmospheric impressionism, where forms dissolve into a haze of small brushstrokes. 

The White Bridge, ca. 1895, Minneapolis Institute of Arts

But he went through dramatically different styles before that. When he was studying at the Académie Julian in Paris, his paintings explored a tonalist approach. He uses soft grays and greens painted flat and a little out of focus.

John Twachtman, “Springtime,” 1884-1885, oil on canvas, 
36 7/8 x 50 in, Cincinnati Art Museum

Before that, he explored the world more objectively. 

Here is a 24-year-old John Henry Twachtman painting in a more realistic mode, with fine details and a full range of values. This grew out of a visit to Venice in 1878 in the company of Munich-trained Duveneck and Chase. Munich academic painters didn't hesitate to use extreme darks and blacks. 

One style isn't better than another, of course, but it's interesting to know that they were all produced by the same person. It's entirely natural for any of us to travel through completely different ways of seeing. 


John Henry Twachtman on Wikipedia


rock995 said...

I didn't know Twachtman had that realistic style to start with. Very interesting.

MerylAnnB said...

I love Twachtman, all his styles! Thanks for posting this!