The Sycamores

John Washington Love (American, 1850-1880)

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John Washington Love

The Sycamores, 1878

oil on canvas

29 ½ x 24 ½ inches

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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.

After Love returned from study in France, his interest in landscape painting continued. The influence of the French Barbizon painters is apparent in the dark tones and the loose, broken brushstrokes that sweep across the canvas. In this Indianapolis landscape scene, the tradition of the Barbizon painters is mingled with Love's own individual 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
oil on canvas
29-1/2 x 24-1/2 in. (canvas)
35-3/4 x 31 x 3 in. (framed)
mark descriptions
Signed and dated, lower left: John W Love / 1878
accession number
credit line
John Herron Fund
Public Domain
American Painting and Sculpture to 1945

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