Whittredge, Thomas Worthington – American Artist

Thomas Worthington Whittredge (American, 1820 to 1910)

In 1872, Whittredge began to spend his summers in Newport, Rhode Island, his family’s ancestral home. His early views of Rhode Island, such as “A Home by the Seaside”,1872 (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) centered, not on Newport, but on the rural towns of Middleton, Tiverton and Little Compton and the surrounding valleys and coasts. These panoramic scenes often feature the gable-end, shingle-sided houses that characterized 18th-century Rhode Island architecture.

By the early 1880s, Whittredge’s style had become more painterly – even impressionistic, in line with his growing interest in Barbizon and Hague School painting. While Whittredge’s later views of the landscape around Narragansett Bay continue to focus on indigenous colonial architecture and rural activities, their ramshackle fence lines, fields of wildflowers, billowing clouds, and softer edges all epitomized in “June, Paradise Valley” – evoke feelings of spontaneity, in contrast to his more sweeping vistas of the previous decade.

Courtesy of Shannons Fine Arts Auctioneers.

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