Theodore Robinson: The American Impressionist

Someone I’ve been meaning to write about for a while now is Theodore Robinson. He was an American artist known mostly for his peaceful landscapes. He was also one of the first Americans to take up the ways of impressionism.

Robinson was academically trained at the National Academy of Design in New York and later at the Art Students League. In 1887, he moved to Giverny in France, where he became close friends with Claude Monet. He even moved next door to Monet in 1888. Robinson shared his admiration of Monet in an 1892 edition of The Century magazine, writing:

“There is always a delightful sense of movement, vibration and life… Clouds are moving across the sky, leaves are twinkling, the grass is growing.”

(Source)

During his time in Giverny, Robinson started using brighter colors and experimenting with impressionist techniques like broken color and simplified brushwork. This led to some of his finest works. Though he didn’t lean into impressionism fully. Rather, he created his own unique blend of realism and impressionism.

He didn’t experience wide success during his lifetime. It was only after his early passing at the age of 43 due to an acute asthma attack that he started to gain recognition. That tends to be the case for us artists, doesn’t it? Oh well, just need to keep on painting!

Here are a few of my favorite paintings by Robinson, plus a photo of the man himself:

Theodore Robinson, 1882
Theodore Robinson, 1882
Theodore Robinson, Valley of the Seine from Giverny Heights, 1892
Theodore Robinson, Valley of the Seine from Giverny Heights, 1892
Theodore Robinson, Drawbridge, 1894
Theodore Robinson, Drawbridge, 1894
Theodore Robinson, The Old Bridge, 1890
Theodore Robinson, The Old Bridge, 1890
Theodore Robinson, Low Tide Riverside Yacht Club, 1894
Theodore Robinson, Low Tide Riverside Yacht Club, 1894
Theodore Robinson, Old Church at Giverny, 1909
Theodore Robinson, Old Church at Giverny, 1909
Theodore Robinson, World's Columbian Exposition, 1894
Theodore Robinson, World’s Columbian Exposition, 1894
Theodore Robinson, Winter Landscape, 1889
Theodore Robinson, Winter Landscape, 1889
Theodore Robinson, Valley of the Seine, Giverny, 1887
Theodore Robinson, Valley of the Seine, Giverny, 1887
Theodore Robinson, The Old Mill, Vieux Moulin, 1892
Theodore Robinson, The Old Mill, Vieux Moulin, 1892
Theodore Robinson, Capri, 1890
Theodore Robinson, Capri, 1890
Theodore Robinson, A French Hamlet, 1892
Theodore Robinson, A French Hamlet, 1892
Theodore Robinson, From the Height of Bird Flight
Theodore Robinson, From the Height of Bird Flight
Theodore Robinson, Channel
Theodore Robinson, Channel
Theodore Robinson, House in Virginia
Theodore Robinson, House in Virginia
Theodore Robinson, Bridge at Giverny
Theodore Robinson, Bridge at Giverny
Theodore Robinsom, In the Sun, 1892
Theodore Robinson, In the Sun, 1892
Theodore Robinson, The Wedding March, 1892
Theodore Robinson, The Wedding March, 1892
Theodore Robinson, La Vachère, c.1888
Theodore Robinson, La Vachère, c.1888
Theodore Robinson, Nantucket, 1882
Theodore Robinson, Nantucket, 1882

Thanks for Reading!

I appreciate you taking the time to read this post. Feel free to share with friends. If you ever want to learn more, make sure to check out Composition Breakdown.

Happy painting!

Dan Scott

Draw Paint Academy

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Dan Scott is the founder of Draw Paint Academy. He's a self-taught artist from Australia with a particular interest in landscape painting. Draw Paint Academy is run by Dan and his wife, Chontele, with the aim of helping you get the most out of the art life. You can read more on the About page.


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