John Henry Twachtman

John Henry Twachtman
Born Aug. 4, 1853
Cincinnati, Ohio
Died Aug. 8, 1902 (at age 49)
Gloucester, Massachusetts
Nationality American
Education Frank Duveneck, Academy of Fine Arts, Munich
Movement Impressionism
Field Landscape art
Works View Complete Works

John Henry Twachtman (1853-1902) was born on August 4, 1853 and passed away on August 8, 1902. During his lifetime, he emerged as one of the most influential and effective impressionist painters of his era.

Twachtman was a member of an organization called The Ten. This organization was comprised of several American artists that had become very disillusioned with the professional art organizations in the nation at the time. At the tail end of the 19th century, they worked together to exhibit their work in the manner they preferred.

Early Life

John_H._Twachtman_Die-weiße-BrückeTwachtman early life begins in his hometown of Cincinnati, OH, where he began his education in regards to painting. He learned under the tutelage of Frank Duveneck. Later on, he would travel to Europe to continue his art education. One venue in which Twachtman studied was the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.

The Impressionist Movement and the American Approach

Twachtman was a member of was the impressionist movement of the 19th century. To this day, impressionism still remains a very popular style of art. Many classic and legendary paintings have been reproduced in the form of posters which sell very well. Specifically, this style of artwork is based on visual impressions of snapshots in time. This visual impression is rooted in movement. In essence, an impressionist painting captures a snapshot of movement in the form of a colorful visual image. This movement started in Paris and was a reaction to common conventions at the time.

JHT-wachtman-BranchvilleOnce again, John Henry Twachtman was not a part of the European movement. He was a member of the American impressionist movement. American impressionism followed common traits of the Parisian movement which the subject matter centering on, obviously, American based sceneries. Often, the American artists captured life in art communities and more romantic regions throughout the United States. These paintings were distinguishable thanks to their very bright colors.

The Twachtman Contribution to the Movement

Twachtman’s contributions to American impressionism were quite significant. While he adhered to the common stylistic traits which defined what impressionist painting are, he did add his own unique sense of style to it as well. This allowed his works to stand out as original and not appear to be weak copies of other paintings or portraits.

Wild_Cherry_Tree_John_Twachtman_c.1901The paintings by Twachtman commonly dealt with landscapes. Landscapes are often thought of as mundane subjects, but under Twachtman these landscapes become something truly special since they do not look like mere replications of traditional landscapes. Rather, they are presenting in the unique imagery common with the impressionist style. However, the paintings are crafted in such a way that they do have a unique style.

Twachtman’s unique style was that he added more experimental components that were not commonly found in the impressionist movement. This allowed his work to be more personal in nature making it capable of standing out.

Taken Too Early

At the height of his fame, John Henry Twachtman died at the age of 49 due to a brain aneurysm.