Theodore Wendel (1859–1932)

Brook, Giverny, 1887

Oil on canvas, 28 1/2 x 35 5/8 in. (72.4 x 90.5 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1987.13

Theodore Wendel studied with the influential teacher Frank Duveneck (1848–1919) in Cincinnati, Ohio, and traveled with fellow students throughout Europe in the early 1880s. Later, he was among the first group of visiting artists to spend time in the French village of Giverny, home of the master impressionist Claude Monet (1840–1926). The landscape paintings Wendel made during his two summers there are considered some of the earliest by an American artist to incorporate the hallmarks of impressionism. Here he depicts one of the many small streams feeding the lush meadows that surround the village. An expanse of green dominates the foreground, and the brook is an angular ribbon of darker green curving into the background, overshadowed by trees lining its banks. Brook, Giverny demonstrates a transition in Wendel’s work away from the realism of his academic training and toward the gradual assimilation of a more spontaneous and immediate painting mode associated with impressionism.

Learn more about this painting on the Terra Foundation website.