Alexander Helwig Wyant Biography | Oil Paintings

1-11-1836 Port Washington, Ohio, USA - 11-29-1892 New York, NY USA

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Wyant, Alexander Helwig

Alexander Helwig Wyant worked during his teenage years as a local sign painter and in his spare time did some river scene oil paintings on his own, without training. In 1857 at age twenty one, he saw some oil painting of George Inness on exhibit in Cincinnati, he was so inspired that he went to New York to meet Inness in person. Upon his return to Cincinnati, Wyant was able to secure the financial support of Nicholas Longworth to study art in New York in 1860. His initial paintings took after the Hudson River School. After a brief study on New York, Wyant sailed to France that same year and went on to Paris where he saw the works of Camille Corot and Julien Dupré and then moved on to Germany.

After three years traveling in Europe, he moved back to New York City in 1863. His debut exhibit was in 1864 at the National Academy of Design, later in 1868 he was elected an associate, and an academician in 1869. Only two years after arriving in NY, Wyant was off again in 1865, this time to Germany to study for a few months with the Norwegian painter Hans Gude, then he stopped off to study the works of Constable and Turner in England and Ireland before returning again to New York in 1866. With all the studying and art he saw overseas, Alexander Helwig Wyant style shifted toward a more looser handling of paint, with a palette emphasizing shades of white, gray, and the earth colors, becoming more Tonalist in nature.

While on a government-sponsored expedition to Arizona and New Mexico in 1873 he had a partial stroke which paralyzed his right arm, he was 37 years old. Back in his studio in New York City, for many years he taught himself how to paint with his left hand. He was only moderately appreciated during his lifetime, though after his death Alexander Helwig Wyant works were eagerly sought for.

Art Movement: Tonalism, Hudson River School.
Artists Influencing Alexander Helwig Wyant: George Inness, Hans Gude, John Constable, J.M.W. Turner.
He Traveled To France, Germany, England, Ireland.
Artist Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.

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