Home Exclusives Seeing the big picture at Greenwich Historical Society

Seeing the big picture at Greenwich Historical Society

John Henry Twachtman’s “Hemlock Pool” (circa 1895-99), oil on canvas. Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, we finally got a chance to see the Greenwich Historical Society’s “Life and Art: The Greenwich Paintings of John Henry Twachtman,” a small jewel of a show on view through Jan. 22. Twachtman (1853-1902) was a member of the Cos Cob Art Colony of American Impressionists who offered a more muscular interpretation of Impressionism from their French counterparts at the end of the 19th century. We found ourselves looking at these familiar works with new eyes, marveling at the layered, textured impasto of thick, short brushstrokes. 

It was only when we stepped back that we realized the works and Impressionism in general holds a metaphor for life. Up close, everything’s a blur.  

It’s only when you stand back and consider the subject that you gain perspective.

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