Dawn—Early Spring

Dwight William Tryon American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 766

In the mid-1860s James McNeill Whistler had begun to envision, create, and title his works in the abstract language of music, calling them symphonies, harmonies, nocturnes, and so forth. A perceptive critic observed in 1902 that Tryon followed Whistler’s lead, distilling from nature rather than transcribing it, in landscapes such as this one: “Tryon’s pictures . . . are almost, literally speaking, musical in their effect, not unlike the pizzicato notes on the A string of a violin. . . .He composes his pictures as a composer does his score. His parallelism of horizontal and vertical lines is like melodic phrasing.”

Dawn—Early Spring, Dwight William Tryon (1849–1925), Oil on wood, American

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