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Artwork of the Week

Artwork of the Week: Garden Path with Iris

Garden Path with Iris
Theodore Earl Butler (1861-1936), 'Garden Path with Iris,' 1907, oil on canvas on board, 28 3/8 x 14 1/2 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of Virgil H. Stucki, 1976.

This vivid sunlit path speaks to the lasting impact the French Impressionist movement had on American artists in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. With its quick, airy brushstrokes, intense color, and use of light, Garden Path with Iris captures the essence of what is seen and the optical impression it leaves, rather than creating an exact replica of the setting. By emphasizing the ephemeral, ever-changing qualities of sunlight, shadows, and flowers within a tightly cropped composition, Butler’s work bears the influence of the French Impressionists, who sought to convey the experiences of modern, everyday life—from sites of leisure such as gardens to the bustle of railroad stations—as seen in the work of Claude Monet.

Born in Columbus, Ohio, Butler moved to New York and later to Paris to study art. While in Paris, Butler met and befriended Claude Monet and eventually married into the artist’s family. Butler then established a home in Giverny, France close to Monet, and likely painted this work at Monet’s residence.

Guest author: Ashley Rice

Past Artworks of the Week

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