Sunday, December 07, 2008

Tonalist Landscape

Evensong Tonalist Landscape, painting by Jan Blencowe

Jan Blencowe

About this Painting: This painting no longer exists in this form, I've re-worked it and think that the result is a better painting. See the new version here

An interesting page on tonalism by Blue Hill Bay Gallery. Make sure you take a good look at Dennis Sheehan's work, I consider him a modern tonalist master. For a lengthier aticle go here.


....the underlying Tonalist strategy to produce an art expressive of mood, of insights into the human spirit by way of landscape—a painted transcription of the individual artist’s response to nature. These subtle and charming expressions were achieved, not by a detailed realistic rendering of a specific place—as Tonalist artists criticized both their Hudson River forbearers and Impressionist colleagues for doing—but by a synthesizing process in the studio in which the painter often worked from memory to manipulate light effects and simplify and harmonize compositional elements until obtaining an evocative whole. The goal was an overall decorative unity that was both pleasing to the eye and touched the soul.


By the 1890s, Tonalism and Impressionism were recognized by critics and collectors, if not as competing styles, certainly as different aesthetics. Tonalism was fundamentally a landscape art: subdued, profound, and spiritual. Impressionism also concentrated on landscape, but included more cosmopolitan and narrative subject matter—including the figure—and employed high-keyed colors and broken brushwork to capture scintillating sunlit effects. The aesthetics of the two styles were not mutually exclusive and artists from both camps freely borrowed from one another.

Written by David Adams Cleveland and excerpted from his exhibition catalogue essay in Intimate Landscapes, Charles Warren Eaton and the Tonalist Movement in American Art 1880 –1920, De Menil Gallery at Groton School, September 26 to December 14, 2004.

Don't forget to get your copy of ........

Colour, Obsession, Joy and Torment. The Daily Painters Art Gallery 2008.

Colour, Obsession, Joy and Torment

The Daily Painters Art Gallery 2008

Announcing our first ever Daily Painters Gallery book!

Painting Nature

No comments: