John Henry Twachtman • Painting, 1889, 152.4×203.2 cm
About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Landscape
Style of art: Impressionism
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1889
Size: 152.4×203.2 cm
Artwork in selections: 3 selections

Description of the artwork «Branchville»

Artists Twachtman, and Wear not only families were friends, but also worked side-by-side. They both were in the Society of American artists, and the exit became the founding fathers of the "Tens" - the progressive organization of the Impressionists of the United States. Not to mention the joint mentoring in the student League artists in new York.

Twachtman was best man at the wedding of Julian Alden Weir, and even named his son Jay Alden in honor of his friend. Often bumping into guests at his farm in Branchville (Connecticut), Twachtman in the end in the summer of 1888 rents a private house nearby to work with and Wear. In a letter to his friend John Henry describes the advantages of his decision: "I feel more satisfaction from seclusion and rural life. Isolation from the outside world – a perfect tool that makes us closer to nature".

Painting By Twachtman "Branchville" the most ambitious of his works, captures the view to the West from the main entrance to the house of wear. Three years earlier he wrote a cloth of the same size in the French city of Arques-La-Bataille. But if this painting was conceived for the exhibition at the Paris salon, the reasons for the size Branchville landscape is unclear. With the exception of a few paintings by Twachtman of a width exceeding one metre, the size of most of his prominent works do not exceed 80 centimeters.

Being the same height and two and a half centimeters wider picture "Arques-La-Bataille" the view of the landscape from the house of wear produces almost the polar effect and represents a turning point in the artist's career. Instead of dull, good-looking and built according to the classical canons of composition (French canvas written in the Studio with preparatory sketches), landscape Branchville breathes the energy of spontaneity that speaks in favor of working in the open air.

Instead choose for the canvas of this size is ambitious in its natural splendor object, Twachtman wrote obviously unremarkable and deeply personal landscape. The sky occupies the upper third of the picture, the earth is split diagonally winding road. The big tree right of center is the only vertical in the composition. Made from scraps of green and reddish ochre surface of the earth loosely shaded in the foreground and along the edges of the leaf and is giving place to the natural colour of the canvas.

This style reflects the transition of the Twachtman from detail to spontaneous, sweeping smear. At the same time it may indicate increasing interest in French impressionism, the exhibition of achievements of which took place in new York a few years earlier.

The style of Twachtman definitely cannot be attributed to pure impressionism, but, without a doubt, the artist drew inspiration in his aesthetics. During this period, his colors become denser and heavier compared to thin diffuse layers of the French period, as in the painting "Arques-La-Bataille". It is densely imposes layer after layer, letting them dry in the sun, and then repeats the entire procedure again, achieving the effect of translucency and a luminous haze.

Over time, the picture passed into the possession of to Wear. Legend has it that he once said to one of the collectors that would rather lose their right arm than sell any of the works of johnny. The artist fulfilled his promise: after his death, "Branchville" got the son of Twachtman, and later the painting was purchased by a collector in 1979 handed it to the Museum of fine arts, Columbus.

Author: Natalia Azarenka