1861 - 1936
Theodore Butler studied under Monet and lived in Giverny. He married Monet’s stepdaughter Suzanne Hoshedé in 1892. Their marriage painted in The Wedding March by Theodore Robinson, is held by the Fondation Terra, Giverny.
Butler was greatly influenced by Monet and had no doubt sought this influence as he had deliberately come to Monet for advice. However, Butler also brought his own personal style to his work: he used the divided touch characteristic of Impressionism but deliberately fused together touches of different tones to create an effective optical blending. In addition, his use of pigment was drier, grainier and coarser than that of the traditional Impressionists and captured the light more effectively. By modulating colour and light, even if this means sacrificing drawing and outlines, he translated volumes in space with great intensity. One of the major and anecdotally interesting themes of his work is the series of some 25 Bathing the Child paintings which clearly show the child he had with Monet’s stepdaughter and was a series he continued to work on for two and a half years, having started the year after his marriage. Butler painted many landscapes of the area around Giverny, reflecting, as a follower of the Impressionist movement, the changing seasons and the variations in light according to the time of day and the weather. Other themes to which he constantly returned throughout his career were those of mother and child or a woman in an interior and a child, or woman in a garden. He received a commendation at the Salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in 1888. He also exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Indépendants between 1907 and 1932 and at the Salon d’Automne between 1907 and 1935.
1992, Lasting Impressions: American Painters in France 1865-1915, Musée d’Art Américain, Terra Foundation for American Art, Giverny
2007, Giverny Impressionniste: une Colonie d’Artistes, 1885-1915, Musée d’Art Américain, Terra Foundation for American Art, Giverny
Museum and Gallery Holdings
Chicago (Terra Foundation for American Art Collection): The Card Players (c. 1896, oil on canvas); The Artist’s Children, James and Lili (1896, oil on canvas); Le Dejeuner (1897, oil on canvas); Place de Rome at Night (1905, oil on canvas); Lili Butler Reading at the Butler House, Giverny (1908, oil on canvas)
New York (Metropolitan Mus. of Art): Un Jardin, Maison Baptiste (1895, oil on canvas)
Pittsburgh (Carnegie MA): Girl in Lavender, Seated at a Desk, or Woman at Desk (1908, oil on canvas)
Vernon (Mus. Alphonse-Georges Poulain): Sunset at Veules les Roses (1909, oil on canvas)