John Leslie Breck (1860–1899)
Garden at Giverny (In Monet's Garden), c. 1887–91
John Leslie Breck was one of the first American artists to work in the French village of Giverny, home to the French master Claude Monet (1840–1926). Initially, he experimented with Monet’s aesthetic principles and later was a leading proponent of American impressionism, before his untimely death at age forty. This painting introduces viewers to a luxuriant garden, probably Monet’s own. Various colorful flowers and feathery foliage crowd the picture frame, engulfing the path that meanders from the foreground. Contrasts between strong shadows and bright colors demonstrate the artist’s interest in recording the transient effects of light. During his years in Giverny (from 1887 to 1891), Breck was privileged to be among the select few admitted to Monet’s inner circle. Confirming the young artist’s position as one of America’s foremost impressionists, this painting is also a tribute to his famous mentor’s swirling brushwork and strong hues.
Learn more about this painting on the Terra Foundation website.