Willard Leroy Metcalf was a popular and successful painter, whose luminous and colorful New England landscapes were excellent examples of American Impressionism. Metcalf was born in 1858 in Lowell, Massachusetts. At 17, he studied in Boston under landscape artist George Loring Brown and attended classes at the Lowell Institute and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

In 1883, Metcalf went to Europe. At this time, Impressionism was beginning to make its impact on European art. However, the instruction Metcalf received at the Academie Julian in Paris was stylistically conservative. One of the first Americans to visit the French village of Giverny where Monet and other many impressionists worked, Metcalf would not incorporate their techniques in his paintings until the early 1900s.
Enthusiastic about what Metcalf himself called his impressionist “renaissance”, he became one of the founding members of The Ten American Painters. For 20 years, these artists popularized impressionism through frequent group exhibits. Metcalf also became an influential member of the art colony in Old Lyme, Connecticut.

Though he maintained a studio in New York City until his death there in 1925, Metcalf spent much of his time traveling and painting in New England.


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