Figure in Sunlight (Artist’s Wife)

Media - 1929.6.137 - SAAM-1929.6.137_1 - 83179
Copied John Henry Twachtman, Figure in Sunlight (Artist's Wife), ca. 1890-1900, oil on canvas, 26 1821 14 in. (66.453.9 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of John Gellatly, 1929.6.137
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Artwork Details

Figure in Sunlight (Artist’s Wife)
ca. 1890-1900
26 1821 14 in. (66.453.9 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of John Gellatly
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Portrait female — Twachtman, Martha Scudder. — full length
  • Architecture Exterior — domestic — house
Object Number

Artwork Description

John Twachtman painted many portraits of his wife and children between 1889 and 1902. These were among the few figural works he made during a career devoted mostly to landscape painting. Twachtman did not believe in stiff, formal poses, and in this image he painted Martha seated comfortably in front of the family's small farmhouse.He had led a nomadic life before marrying and settling in Connecticut, and the soft,glowing colors of this scene convey the comfort of his new home and family. The blurred outlines and rich yellows and greens of the background evoke the warm, hazy atmosphere of a summer day.