Eastman Johnson (1824-1906)

  • EASTMAN JOHNSON (1824-1906)
  • Washington's Headquarters, 1860
  • Oil on paper laid on board
  • 8 2/5 x 6 1/4 inches
  • Signed lower left

Washington’s Headquarters, reflects Johnson’s affinity for picturesque subjects. Here, he depicts a former outpost of the Revolutionary War, which has fallen into a ruinous state. The collapsed roof and crumbling stone walls have given way to nature, leaving the surrounding brush to overgrow the structure. Painted just before the outbreak of the American Civil War, Johnson must have felt the historic pull towards this Revolutionary-era subject as the modern nation in his own time began to fall into turmoil. The masterful brushwork and close attention to light and shadow typify Johnson’s mature style. Though Johnson was most recognized for his sophisticated portrayals of rural life in America, the artist was one of the most cosmopolitan painters of his era. He was actively involved in the New York art scene, holding memberships at the Century Association and the Union League Club, and exhibiting with the Society of American Artists. He was also one of the founders of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and served as a trustee for the institution until 1871.

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Eastman Johnson  Washington's Headquarters Framed
Eastman Johnson Washington's Headquarters Unframed