Theodore Robinson Biography | Oil Paintings

6-3-1852 Irasburg, Vermont USA - 4-2-1896 New York, New York USA

Robinson, Theodore

Theodore Robinson (the painter) began his art education at the Art Institute of Chicago between 1869–1870. In 1874 Robinson went to New York City to attend classes at the National Academy of Design for two years but left the academy to become one of the founders of the Art Students League in 1875.

In 1876 he traveled to Paris to study under Carolus-Duran and at the École des Beaux-Arts, with Jean-Léon Gérôme. He first exhibited his paintings at the 1877 Salon in Paris and spent the summer of that year at Grez-sur-Loing.

He traveled to Italy, lived in Venice for a few months, and was befriended by the American artist James McNeill Whistler, who had a great influence on him. After a trip to Bologna, he returned to the United States in 1879 for several years. During this time Theodore Robinson's painting style was a loosely brushed realist manner, but not yet Impressionistic.

In 1884 Theodore Robinson returned to France where he lived for the next eight years, visiting America only occasionally. The center of French Impressionist art under the influence of Claude Monet was in Giverny, and Robinson went there to experience it and he met Monet.

Robinson and Monet became close friends, and in 1888 their friendship was enough for Robinson to move in next door. Due to Monet's influence, Robinson's art shifted to a more traditional Impressionistic manner. While many American artists had gathered at Giverny, none were as close to Monet as Robinson. Monet offered advice to Robinson, and he likewise asked Robinson to comment on his works in progress.

Theodore Robinson left France and saw Monet for the last time in 1892, although he had plans to return. Back in America, while his reputation as an important American Impressionist was growing, Robinson still needed to teach to support himself. Robinson obtained a teaching post at the Brooklyn Art School and conducted summer classes in Napanoch, New York, near the Catskill Mountains. He also taught at Evelyn College in Princeton, New Jersey, and later at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia.

With New York City as his home base, Theodore Robinson circulated among a growing number of American artists pursuing Impressionism. He was particularly close to John Henry Twachtman and Julian Alden Weir and spent time at the nearby Cos Cob Art Colony in Connecticut.

In 1895, Theodore Robinson enjoyed a productive period in Vermont, and in February 1896 he wrote to Monet about returning to Giverny, but two months later he died of an acute asthma attack in New York City at the age of forty-three.

Art Movement: Impressionism.
Artists Influencing Theodore Robinson: Carolus-Duran, Jean-Léon Gérôme, Claude Monet.
He Traveled To France, Italy.
Artist Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.

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