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Seeing America

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The White Bridge

ca. 1900
30 1/4 x 25 1/8 in. (76.8 x 63.8 cm)

John Henry Twachtman
American (Cincinnati, OH, 1853 - 1902, Gloucester, MA)

Object Type: Painting
Medium and Support: Oil on canvas
Credit Line: Gift of Emily Sibley Watson
Accession Number: 1916.9
Location: Currently on view
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Impressionism, a radically modern style upon its inception in France in the 1860s, came late to American shores. The Impressionist artist sought to capture impressions of light, color, and shape in a spontaneous way.
[Gallery label text, 2007]

John Twachtman’s finest paintings were inspired by the beauty of the land on which he lived with his family. Located in Greenwich, Connecticut, the picturesque property included a portion of Horseneck Brook, across which Twachtman built an ornamental but functional footbridge. Here, his children swam in the summer and rowed their boat beneath the bridge’s arched deck. The bridge may have been inspired by similar structures in Venice, where the artist lived in the 1880s and 90s.

Twachtman was one of America’s premier impressionist painters and a founding member of the Ten American Painters, a group that included Thomas Dewing and William Merritt Chase, artists whose works are also on view at MAG. The White Bridge’s bright colors, energetic brushwork, and light-filled canvas link Twachtman’s work with that of French impressionist Claude Monet.

[Gallery label text, 2004]

Marks
Artist's signature, lower right: J. H. Twachtman


Provenance
Mrs. John E. (Gertrude) Cowdin, 1907; her sale, American Art Association, New York, May 9-11, 1916, lot no. 168; purchased by Macbeth Galleries, New York at that sale; purchased by Mrs. James Sibley Watson, Rochester, NY, for the Gallery, 1916

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Web Links See links to web pages and lesson plans
Seeing America Inservice Materials from a teacher in-service presentation Spring 2008
Seeing America Chapter on John Henry Twachtman: The White Bridge, written by Susan G. Larkin.
MAGexplore MAGexplore provides in-depth information and close looking at over 200 objects in MAG's collection.


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