November 14, 2017

John Henry Twachtman, "Spring Landscape"

John Henry Twachtman (1853-1902), Spring Landscape, c.1900, oil on canvas, 15 x 17 7/8 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of Dr. and Mrs. Milton Woods, 1974.

In honor of the birth of Aaron Copland, the celebrated American composer, on November 14, 1900, we highlight an image of spring from the MOA collection. Copland’s orchestral suite “Appalachian Spring” (with its well-known tune “Simple Gifts”) evokes the beauty and promise of America and is regarded as one of the most iconic of American compositions.

American artist John Henry Twachtman painted Spring Landscape around 1900, the same time as Copland’s birth. One of the great proponents of American impressionism, Twachtman captured the atmosphere of a refreshing spring day in the Connecticut countryside, an area to which he—like many New Yorkers—escaped to in order to enjoy the pastoral harmony of rural scenery. Rather than creating a literal transcription of trees, grass, and sky, he uses a narrow range of green tones, loose brushwork, and lack of details to capture the poetic essence of this American scene.

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