BRECK, John Leslie
(b. 1860, at South Pacific, d. 1899, Boston)
Garden at Giverny1890
Oil on canvas, 46 x 56 cm
Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago
In 1887 a small group of North American artists John Leslie Breck, William Blair Bruce, Willard Metcalf, Louis Ritter, Theodore Robinson, Henry Fitch Taylor, and Theodore Wendel settled in Giverny for the summer season. Some appear to have been previously unaware of Monet's presence in the village, but at least two of them, Robinson and Metcalf, had visited during earlier summers. They set up their easels along the streams or on the hillside and became acquainted with their newly adopted village from a distance. At first they avoided depicting the village itself, preferring more familiar landscape motifs. Gradually, artists in Giverny began to experiment with Impressionism, inspired by Monet and also by the region's dramatic light. Within a few years, many began to employ the more luminous, high-keyed palette and looser brushwork characteristic of impressionism.