Dwight W. Tryon



Dwight W. Tryon (1849-1925)




Oil on canvas


16 x 24 1/16 in. (40.6 x 61.1 cm.)

Accession #:


Credit Line:

Henry D. Gilpin Fund


After amassing a comfortable sum in business, the largely self-taught Dwight W. Tryon turned full-time to art at age twenty-four. He studied in Paris from 1876 to 1879 under Jacquesson de la Chevreuse, a pupil of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, but responded much more strongly to the influence of painters of the Barbizon School, rather than the highly finished, linear style of the academic tradition. Upon returning to the United States, Tryon's mature work linked him with other young Americans who were interested in exploring the subtle variations of color, light, and atmosphere in landscape - a movement christened Tonalism in the early twentieth century, when these works were exhibited together. Small in scale, the Massachusetts landscape of "Evening" is a magnificent example of the Tonalist style. Careful gradations of color lead the viewer through the canvas, while the foreground and the middle ground dissolve into a dewy haze,thanks to Tryon's soft, sketchy brushstrokes. Such meditative, absorbing landscapes proved immensely popular with collectors, particularly Charles Lang Freer, who eventually acquired six dozen of Tryon's works. As a major collector of Asian artifacts, Freer no doubt responded strongly to the subtle harmonies within Tryon's landscapes, which are reminiscent of Japanese painting.