From Sargent to Cassatt: the many faces of American Impressionism
To Paris — for discoveriesThe writer Henry James once said: "If you want to find American art, you will find it in Paris. And if you don’t find it, you will find many other things in Paris". American artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries really ravaged the French capital. The need for European education was caused, first of all, by the fact that Americans felt a lack of academicism, methods and techniques of the classical school. Therefore, striving to master the academic basis, at first, they treated the
One way or another, every American painter dreamed of exhibiting in Parisian salons next to Monet and Renoir. Even during classes in Parisian art studios, it was difficult to refrain from impressionistic experiments.
Monet the teacherAmerican artists who visited the house of Claude Monet in North Normandy were the first to bring the "impressionism virus" in the United States. There, in the creative residence of Giverny in the Seine Valley, in 1886, the owner invited the painter John Sargent, the first of the Americans.
Subsequently, the artists who visited the place founded the American analogue of Giverny in the state of Connecticut, calling it Old Lime. They were guided by the Claudian traditions, at the same time inheriting their predecessors,
The winter fairy taleJohn Henry Twachtman (1853—1902) was one of the leading representatives of The American Ten, teacher and painter who devoted himself mainly to painting American impressionistic landscapes. More than other seasons, Twachtman loved winter: there was much snow and ice-bound water on his canvases. Forming his own artistic style on the basis of impressionism, he tried to convey subtle changes in the state of nature.
Having returned from Florence to his home Connecticut, the artist settled at the Holy House farm, in a house with a garden and a veg patch that he often depicted in his paintings. Soon, Twachtman’s friends artists began to gather here, turning the estate into an art commune.
The Iron LadyTo go up against the parents' will, who did not want to see their daughter as an artist, to rush to Paris to study painting, to make friends with the badass Degas and exhibit at Parisian salons?! The American Mary Cassatt (1844—1926) was capable of doing all these.
It is a mistake to believe that the artist’s strong point was only feminine portraits of mothers with children. Cassatt, not having children of her own, however, did indeed create many paintings with plump nephews. But the artist, first of all, placed the woman’s intellectual principle at the head of her creativity, which tangibly comes to the fore in her paintings The Reading Woman, Tea, Autumn.
Lucky ChaseAnother founder of American
The artist used the free brushstroke technique and pastel colours, combining realism and impressionism. He skilfully transformed ordinary travel scenes into pacifying landscapes with clear skies and simple panoramas, creating a romantic mood.
Connecticut with an oriental flavourThe life of Julian Alden Weir (1852—1919) was turned dramatically by the paintings of the French Impressionists he had seen at an exhibition in New York, among which were paintings by Édouard Manet, which inspired the American to his first experiments in this genre. The surroundings of his farm in Connecticut became the nature for impressionistic
Sargent’s “Prayer”John Singer Sargent (1856—1925) was an outstanding American portrait painter, whose work is often considered
The greatest Sargent’s discovery in Impressionism was colour, the transmission of shadows and reflections, as well as plein air work, which he indulged in with great passion during his "summer holidays", when he had a rest from orders in picturesque corners of the world.
Urban No doubt, you know about Impressionism a lot: you could mention the names of the famous artists and find with ease the exhibition at museums with gleaming water surface and the same image painted in different time of the day and of course you know the scandalous history of the First Impressionist Exhibition and could distinguish Monet and Manet. So, it is high time to switch to the next level: some additional details you would like to know about Impressionism. Read more
Being a child, Frederick Childe Hassam (1859—1935) was firmly convinced of his artistic future. Therefore, the young watercolourist and draftsman dropped out of school and started working with woodcut, illustrating a number of American magazines. Tired of graphics, Hassam set off to paint Boston and its environs in a then naturalistic manner.
Fifth Avenue and Washington Square — unlike his colleagues and contemporaries, who glorified nature in their pictures, Hassam preferred immersion in the accelerated heart rate of metropolitan areas, especially Boston and New York. His cityscapes met a ready market. In 1916, the artist began a series of canvases depicting flags of different countries.