The image of Florence and Tuscany
Every painter developed a personal interpretation of the countryside and towns they visited, seeking to relate the training received back home to the style acquired in the course of experiences in Europe's art centres, especially Impressionist France.
The landscape was the American painters' favourite subject and they were enthusiastic at the idea of being able to work outdoors.
Idealised on the other side of the Atlantic for its classical pedigree, the Tuscan countryside basked in an aura fuelled, in particular, by the imagination of those seeking the genius loci so frequently evoked in the novels of Edith Wharton, Henry James and Elisabeth Pennell.
Sharing their keen sense of nature, the Tuscan painters who followed in the Macchiaioli's wake captured the salient features of their native countryside, offering an interesting counterpoint to the American artists' approach to colour.
Frank Duveneck (Covington 1848-1919)
The Bridges: Florence
oil on canvas mounted on laminated paperboard
Saint Louis, Saint Louis Art Museum, Museum purchase
Elizabeth Lyman Boott Duveneck (Cambridge 1846-Paris 1888)
Villa Castellani at Bellosguardo
Washington, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Gift of Frank Duveneck
William Merritt Chase (Williamsburg 1849-New York 1916)
The Olive Grove
oil on canvas mounted on panel
Chicago, Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection
John Singer Sargent (Firenze 1856-London 1925)
pencil and watercolour on paper
Londra, Tate, Presented by Lord Duveen