John Washington Love (American, 1850-1880)

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John Washington Love arrived in Indianapolis with his parents when he was ten years old. After studying in the public schools and Northwestern Christian University, Love decided to become an artist. He entered the studio of Barton Hays and later went to Cincinnati to continue his studies. After a year he went to New York and entered the School of the National Academy of Design. He then traveled to Paris and was the first Indiana artist to enter the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the Atélier Gérôme where he studied for four years. After six years of European study, Love return to Indianapolis and set up the first Indiana School of Art with fellow artist James F. Gookins. Love's promising career was cut short with his death at the age of thirty.

Through the use of simplified form and fluid brushstrokes, Love presents his impression of a tropical landscape. The figure is a daub of white, and the clothes hanging on the line are broad touches of color. Single brushstrokes are used to delineate the boats and tall grasses and to add color accents to the sky and grass. In this painting Love combines his Barbizon training with a spontaneous approach and a bolder use of color to create his own interpretation of the Impressionist style.


Mary Q. Burnet. Art and Artists of Indiana, New York: The Century Company, 1921. Reprinted by Unigraphic, Inc., 1981. ASIN: B002J7QO2K

Object Information

John Washington Love (American, 1850-1880)
creation date
date unknown
oil on panel
10 x 14 in. (panel)
13 x 17 x 1-1/4 in. (framed)
accession number
credit line
Gift of Mrs. James W. Fesler
Public Domain
American Painting and Sculpture to 1945

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