John Henry Twachtman (1853-1902)
Middlebrook Farm
signed 'J.H. Twachtman' (lower left)
oil on canvas
18 x 29 in. (45.7 x 73.7 cm.)
Painted circa 1888.
Sale: Ortgies & Company, New York, Paintings in Oil and Pastel by J.A. Weir and J.H. Twachtman, 7 February 1889, no. 60.
Private collection, New Haven, Connecticut.
Sale: Alexander J. Brogan & Son, New Haven, Connecticut, 30 May 1958.
Dr. Robert H. Smith, Wooster, Ohio, acquired from the above.
By descent to the present owner.
"Weir and Twachtman Pictures," New York Sun, February 8, 1889, p. 3.
"The Weir and Twachtman Exhibition," Art Amateur, vol, 20, March 1889, p. 75.
J.D. Hale, "Life and Creative Development of John H. Twachtman," PhD. Dissertation, Ohio State Univerisity, 1958, vol. 2, p. 563, cat. A, no. 449.
L.N. Peters, John Henry Twachtman: An American Impressionist, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1999, p. 82.
New York, Fifth Avenue Art Galleries, Paintings in Oil and Pastel by J. Alden Weir and J.H. Twachtman, February 1-7, 1889, no. 60.
New York, Spanierman Gallery LLC, John H. Twachtman: A "Painter's Painter," May 4-June 24, 2006, pp. 124-25, no. 23, illustrated.
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Lot Essay

This painting will be included in the record of the work of John Henry Twachtman by Lisa N. Peters, Ph.D., to be published in John Henry Twachtman Online, a joint project of the author and the Greenwich Historical Society.

According to Lisa Peters, the present work depicts Middlebrook Farm on Ridgefield Road in Wilton, Connecticut. John Henry Twachtman and his family spent the summer of 1888 just four miles away in Branchville, Connecticut, living next door to his fellow Impressionist artist J. Alden Weir. Twachtman spent the summer travelling the surrouding countryside in artistic pursuits, which resulted in the present work. Peters writes, "Twachtman's vantage point on the scene was from the hill opposite the farmhouse looking west toward it, a view that captured the felicitous way that house was superbly positioned on the crest of a ridge paralelling Ridgefield Road, where its expanded version may be seen today." (John Twachtman: A 'Painter's Painter,' exhibition catalogue, New York, 2006, p. 124)

When Twachtman exhibited Middlebrook Farm in 1889, one reviewer noted that the painting depicted "a typical American landscape, raw, barren, and rocky, but delightful in its way as a page of description of [Nathaniel] Hawthorne or [Ralph Waldo] Emerson." (as quoted in John Twachtman: A 'Painter's Painter,' p. 124)

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