John Henry Twachtman (American, 1853-
1902), “Mother and Child,” ca. 1893. Oil on
canvas. 30 1/8 x 25 1/8 in. Fine Arts
Museums of San Francisco, gift of the
family of Jacob Stern from his collection

Medium
Image rights
Image courtesy of Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

A genius of paint handling, Tonalist landscape artist John Twachtman spent his career experimenting with new and often radical ways of manipulating the surfaces of his canvases to express a subjective reverence for the land and its seasons. Twachtman’s early slashing and tenebrous palette were derived from training in Munich and inspiration from fellow Cincinnati expatriate Frank Duveneck, but would give way to a more nuanced, feathery brushwork by the mid 1880s, when he painted some of his early masterworks influenced by James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s ethereal aesthetics. These French and Dutch landscapes were unparalleled in American art for their refinement and elegance of design, no less their rarefied handling of tone and hypnotic intensity. Twachtman’s elegiac winter landscapes in particular spoke to the mystical, transcendentalist spirituality of nature. He died young and was greatly mourned by the professional art world.

Collected by major museums
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields
Selected exhibitions
2021
American ImpressionismDebra Force Fine Art
2020
Traveling America: East to MidwestDebra Force Fine Art
2015
Jewel City: Art from San Francisco's Panama-Pacific International Expositionde Young Museum
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Mother and Child, 1893

Oil on canvas
30 1/8 × 25 1/8 in
76.5 × 63.8 cm
Location
San Francisco

John Henry Twachtman (American, 1853-
1902), “Mother and Child,” ca. 1893. Oil on
canvas. 30 1/8 x 25 …

Medium
Image rights
Image courtesy of Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

A genius of paint handling, Tonalist landscape artist John Twachtman spent his career experimenting with new and often radical ways of manipulating the surfaces of his canvases to express a subjective reverence for the land and its seasons. Twachtman’s early slashing and tenebrous palette were derived from training in Munich and inspiration from fellow Cincinnati expatriate Frank Duveneck, but would give way to a more nuanced, feathery brushwork by the mid 1880s, when he painted some of his early masterworks influenced by James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s ethereal aesthetics. These French and Dutch landscapes were unparalleled in American art for their refinement and elegance of design, no less their rarefied handling of tone and hypnotic intensity. Twachtman’s elegiac winter landscapes in particular spoke to the mystical, transcendentalist spirituality of nature. He died young and was greatly mourned by the professional art world.

Collected by major museums
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields
Selected exhibitions (3)
Other works from Jewel City: Art from San Francisco's Panama-Pacific International Exposition
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