Sunday, October 10, 2010

THE GREAT LANDSCAPE PAINTER



One of New England's prominent landscape artists of the late nineteenth century, John Joseph Enneking painted in a variety of styles including Hudson River School, Tonalism and Impressionism as well as illustration art. Although he cannot be easily slotted into any one of those categories, he was best-known for Tonalist forest scenes at twilight. He was also one of the most financially successful artists of his era.
He frequently traveled to Europe and became a friend of Tonalist Camille Corot and Barbizon School painter Jean Millet. Their subdued palette dominated by shades of brown and green deeply influenced his painting.
Enneking was born on an Ohio farm near Minster and was orphaned as a teenager. During the Civil War, he served in the Union Army and was badly injured. After that, he returned to Cincinnati and in 1868, went to Boston where he studied lithography and painting with Samuel Gerry. He also found the surrounding New England countryside so attractive that the city became his adopted home. Later in his career, he spent his summers at North Newry, Maine, and also painted in the White Mountains
(peterjungfineart.com)
On October 14, 1864 he married Mary Eliot who " was the daughter of a wealthy merchant, John Eliot …who had moved from Corinna, Maine to Boston.
Mary encouraged her new husband to devote himself to art. Dissatisfied with lessons in Boston, " he went directly to Nature to learn", he sometimes painted up to 20 small paintings a day in order to raise money for studying in Europe
(thebetheljournals.info)
In 1873 he determined to make art his full-time profession and spent the following three years in Europe, studying for nine months in Munich and for two years in Paris with Charles-Francois Daubigny and Leon Bonnat.
(blueheronfa.com)


View of Pont Royal
Oil on canvas, c. 1875
From sightswithin.com


He also worked with the French Barbizon-School landscape painters, Charles Daubigny and Louis Boudin, and it is rumored he painted with Impressionist Claude Monet but no documentation exists.
(peterjungfineart.com)


Blooming Meadows
Oil on canvas, 1897
Private collection
From en.wikipedia.org


Settling in Hyde Park, MA, in 1876, he established himself as a landscape painter of picturesque New England scenery and of hazy winter twilight scenes. Enneking had his first major success when a large exhibition of his pictures was held in Boston in 1878. The sale of these paintings launched him as one of the most popular landscape painters in New England.
(blueheronfa.com)


Venice at Midday,
Oil on canvas, 1878
Private collection
From en.wikipedia.org


A Late Afternoon Walk
Oil on canvas, 1878
Private collection
From sightswithin.com


Berrying at the Seashore
Oil on canvas, 1879
Private collection
From sightswithin.com


Fall at Dusk, Forest Interior
Oil on canvas, 1879
Private collection
From sightswithin.com


The Pasture
Oil on canvas
From blueheronfa.com


While his early landscapes reflect the influence of his Barbizon training, his later images of brightly colored, sunlit scenes reveal the influence of American Impressionist artists such as Theodore Robinson and John H. Twachtman. The painting depicted above is a fine example of his lovely pastoral scenes capturing the sun and airy clouds above a lush New England hillside of grazing cows.
(blueheronfa.com)


The Milton Blue Hills
Oil on canvas, 1887
Private collection
From sightswithin.com


Brook in Spring, 1888
From sightswithin.com


Summer on the Lake
Oil on canvas, 1888
Private collection
From commons.wikimedia.org


Spring Morning
Oil on canvas, 1889
Private collection
From commons.wikimedia.org


The Old Roundy House on the Neponset River, c. 1890
From sightswithin.com


Autumn Landscape
Oil on canvas, 1891
From alazraki.com


The paintings of John Joseph Enneking are valuable for their sober vigor and for their sincerity of expression. Enneking captured natural phenomena on canvas, and he stamped his creations with a character all their own. He didn’t need to follow Monet or Inness, although he learned from them both. However, it is Enneking’s individuality that attracts attention to his pictures, and that is why he has been called “the great landscape painter," and the “interpreter of New England," and he is definitely an American Impressionist.
In this fall scene (above), everything holds together in the same atmosphere, permeated by the half-melancholy sweetness of the waning year. One can hear the dropping acorns from crimson oaks. There is an abundance of subtle color, handled, apparently, with no restraint. Gathering in the sparkling, clear pool are some of the best aspects of American Impressionism. In his autumn paintings, a broad expanse of sky is seldom seen; they are often quiet half-light pictures. This is a real New England November of soft skies and brilliant lights, fading off into deep, mysterious shadows. Just sufficiently idealized enough to capture the soul of a November afternoon, the picture is both strong and exquisitely satisfying.
The locale in which Autumn Landscape was painted could have been near the artist’s summer home in North Newry, Maine, or, more likely, within the Blue Hills region near his home in Hyde Park, now a part of Boston. Enneking enjoyed the landscape of the Blue Hills so much that he was instrumental in establishing the Blue Hills as a protected reservation, and one of its parkways is named for him. During his career, Enneking was well known and successful in American art, exhibiting to critical acclaim, receiving numerous awards, and having his work acquired for collections in major U.S. museums.
(alazraki.com)


A Summer Afternoon
Oil on canvas, 1895
Private collection
From kistenet.com


Landscape at Sunset
Oil on canvas, 1900
Private collection
From sightswithin.com


Mountain Landscape
Oil on canvas, 1902
Bates College Museum of Art (United States)
Source the-athenaeum.org
From en.wikipedia.org


Breaking Up of Winter, 1904
From sightswithin.com


Spring Flowers
Oil on canvas, 1904
Private collection
From sightswithin.com


Fall Landscape
Oil on canvas, circa 1913
Private collection
From sightswithin.com


Hollyhocks Garden, Mystic, Connecticut
Oil on canvas, circa 1915
Private collection
From sightswithin.com


Birches
Oil on canvas
Private collection
From sightswithin.com


Cattle Grazing November
Oil on canvas
Private collection
From the-athenaeum.org


Deep Woods in Fall
Oil on canvas
Private collection
From sightswithin.com


Early Autumn
Oil on canvas
Private collection
From the-athenaeum.org


Sandy Road
Oil on canvas
Private collection
From sightswithin.com


Sheep Under the Apple Blossoms
Oil on canvas
Private collection
From sightswithin.com


Spring Afternoon
Oil on canvas
Private collection
From sightswithin.com


Spring Hillside
Oil on canvas
Private collection
From sightswithin.com


The Pool, Newry, Maine
Oil on canvas
Private collection
From sightswithin.com


The Trout Brook
Oil on canvas
Private collection
From sightswithin.com


Woodland Pool I

Woodland Pool I Detail

Woodland Pool I Signature
Oil on canvas
Private collection
All images from sightswithin.com


Woodland Pool II
Oil on canvas
Private collection
From sightswithin.com


Enneking cared passionately about unspoiled landscape. He became an active conservationist, and was elected to the position of Park Commissioner in Boston. The quality of his work and his personal humility are demonstrated by the fact that Childe Hassam invited him to join the Group of 10 American Painters and he declined. In 1915 a dinner was given in his honor at the Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston. Over 1,000 people attended and Enneking was crowned with the victor's laurel wreath by Cyrus Dallin, the sculptor whose APPEAL TO THE GREAT SPIRIT stands in front of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
During his lifetime, his work was known and admired all over the country. He enjoyed a distinguished career as an artist and served as President of the Boston Art Club.
(cmfa.org)
Enneking’s paintings of New England scenes, many drawn from the area around Bethel, won invitations to exhibit and awards from exhibitions in Boston, New York, Paris, St. Louis, San Francisco, Philadelphia and World Fairs.
Finally, it is interesting from a historical point of view that both the artist, Enneking, and the collector in this case, J. Howell Crosby, shared a common, initial summer vacation residence at the Locke place in North Bethel. This common factor of Bethel experience is fitting for the first modest Enneking exhibition at the Moses Mason Museum. The Ennekings went on to later acquire a place in North Newry and the Crosby’s one in Sunday River.
(John Joseph Enneking, American Impressionist 1841 to 1916 by Donald G. Bennett August 14, 1979 at thebetheljournals.info)


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