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Dwight William Tryon

Artwork Details

Dwight William Tryon
oil on panel
25 1/2 in x 33 1/2 in x 1 7/8 in (64.77 cm x 85.09 cm x 4.76 cm);25 1/2 in x 33 1/2 in x 1 7/8 in (64.77 cm x 85.09 cm x 4.76 cm)
Bequest of Margaret Watson Parker


March 28 2009
The Tonalist painters were a loose group active between 1890 and 1920 that included Tryon, George Inness, Thomas Wilmer Dewing, Charles Warren Eaton, and James McNeill Whistler, all on view in this gallery. They shared a style characterized by soft, diffused light, muted tones, indistinctly outlined objects, and a desire to convey a strong sense of mood. Landscapes were their preferred subject, and these are usually quiet and contemplative rather than dramatic. Their goal was not so much to record the appearance of what was seen as to convey the artist’s subjective impression of it and to create an aesthetic experience that could provide an escape from the vulgarities of the world. For Tryon, capturing the effects of atmosphere in a landscape was especially important; at a time of urban overcrowding and rampant poverty, his hazy and idyllic landscapes censor out any reference to hectic city life. In Twilight he depicts a wooded meadow veiled in a filmy atmosphere that imparts a mystical quality, a glowing, otherworldly scene that offers an oasis of serenity far from the harsh reality of turn-of-the-century life.

Subject Matter:

Best known for his landscapes and seascapes painted in a Tonalist manner, Tryon’s paintings typically feature a broken row or group of trees in front of a lustrous sky at sunset or sunrise with a marsh or pasture in the foreground, painted in muted autumnal hues. In “Twilight” Tryon depicts a wooded meadow veiled in the misty atmosphere of deepening twilight, dominated by muted grays, browns, and blues. Tryon studied in Paris and this work illustrates the influence the French Barbizon style of painting had on his work, with its emphasis on rural scenes drawn directly from nature and accentuated by a sense of mood and shadow.

Physical Description:

Landscape painting featuring a row of trees in the middle distance, separating a glowing sky above and a meadow in the foreground. The painting is signed and dated (l.r.) "D W Tryon 1905"

Usage Rights:

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