Studying as an artist in Munich in the mid-1870s, Twachtman had painted with a dark palette and lively brushwork, both of which he abandoned when he moved to Paris to enroll at the Académie Julian in 1883. This painting is one of several large landscapes he created during his two years in France. Based on a preliminary oil study also in the Museum's collection (1991.130), it depicts a scene at Arques-la-Bataille, a town four miles southeast of Dieppe, in Normandy, where the Béthune and two other streams flow together to form the Arques River. Its emphasis on formal design recalls both Japanese woodblock prints and James McNeill Whistler’s nocturnes.
Artist: John Henry Twachtman (American, Cincinnati, Ohio 1853–1902 Gloucester, Massachusetts)Date: after 1890Medium: Pastel on pumice paper, mounted on cardboardAccession: 25.107.2On view in:Not on view