TARBELL, Edmund Charles
(b. 1862, West Groton, d. 1938, New Castle)

The Sisters - A Study in June Sunlight

Oil on canvas, 89 x 102 cm
Milwakee Art Museum, Milwaukee

The group called The Ten American Painters was founded in 1898. To contemporaries, the group was quickly seen as the core of American Impressionism. It was created by Childe Hassam, John Twachtman and Julian Weir. The group included Willard Metcalf, Edmund Tarbell, Frank Benson, Joseph De Camp, Thomas Dewing, Edward Simmons and Robert Reid. William Chase joined the group in 1902 after the death of Twachtman. The interest of the group was in the annual public exhibition of work that shared an aesthetic thrust. The Ten survived for almost twenty years till it was dissolved in 1917.

1890s Impressionist art in Boston was primarily concerned with figure painting, and focused on society ladies in appropriate settings. Tarbell was one of the first to take this direction. His compositions of the 1890s, showing stylish ladies at leisure out of doors, adopted the entire colour spectrum of French Impressionism, and indeed occasionally enhanced it as in the glows to be seen in his subjects' faces.