John Enneking USA

10-4-1841 Minster, USA – 11-16-1916 Boston, USA

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Enneking, John

America's first impressionist, John Joseph Enneking was as good an academic draftsman as he was an impressionist.He is known for having painted competently the four seasons and collectors seek out his New England landscapes and figural pieces.

John Joseph Enneking drew landscapes, horses and caricatures of teachers in charcoal and crayon from childhood and local villagers dubbed him Minster's "Artist." After his parents died in 1856, the artist went to Cincinnati to live with an aunt and uncle and it was there he first saw art exhibitions and resolved to become a painter. In 1858 he took drawing lessons at Cincinnati's Mount St. Mary's College and by 1861 he fought as a Union soldier during the Civil War until he was wounded and taken a prisoner by the Confederates.

At the age of 23, Enneking studied print making in Boston, married, built a home, and secured a letter of introduction to the French artist Leon Joseph Bonnet from Frederick V. Porter of Boston. In 1872 Enneking's palette took on a Barbizon tonality as he trained at the Munich Academy with Adolph-Heinrich Lier and Eduard Schleich. He painted in Italy and the Alps before entering Paris to study figure painting with Leon Bonnat and landscape painting with Charles Daubigny.

By the end of 1873, Enneking's entourage included Millet, Corot, Renoir, Monet, Pissarro and Manet and John Joseph Enneking became one of the first American painters to paint alongside Monet and Pissarro in Claude Monet's Argenteuil garden in 1873 and 1874. His return to Boston in 1876 was filled with enthusiasm for Impressionism and he helped guide and encourage 100s of painters to go to France to train with Monet and his devotees.

After his 1876 return to Boston, Enneking set up a studio next to Childe Hassam and George Fuller and he was quickly recognized as a pre-eminent impressionist who could solidly paint any object or vista in a convincing "modern" manner. Intermingling the best artistic techniques of the Barbizon and French Impressionist painters, Enneking developed a unique artistic style

John Joseph Enneking was pivotal in introducing Impressionism to artists throughout New York and New England because he was the first American who returned to the United States an impressionist after having painted alongside Claude Monet in Paris.

Art Movement: Impressionism
Influences: Charles Daubigny, Leon Bonnat
Traveled: Germany, Netherlands, Italy
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