Theodore Robinson

(1852-1886)

Theodore Robinson was one of the earliest and most important American Impressionists active in France. He began his scholastic career at the National Academy of Design before traveling to Acadamie Julian, Paris, where Robinson preferred to paint in tight Realistic style. Robinson returned to France in 1884 after accumulating enough money to finance his trip. He continued to visit Giverny in the summers from 1887-1892 and was welcomed by Monet into his studio and home. Like Monet, Robinson chose particular landscape scenes as a series at different times of the day. This was a real turning point in Robinson's career because he was very influenced by Monet but did not choose to imitate him. Robinson's colors were softer than Monet's, with lighter brushstrokes and decisive contours, making his painting more sensitive. Robinson returned to the U.S. and settled in Greenwich, CT in 1893. He helped form and name the Art Students League and taught landscape painting at the Brooklyn Art School in the summers of '93 and '94. His well known painting "Valley of Seine from Giverny Heights" (1892) shows the effects of sun, gray and slight overcast lighting. Robinson's later work became hazier with looser strokes.