Edmund Tarbell - Reverie - 1913

Edmund Tarbell - Reverie - 1913

Edmund Charles Tarbell (1862 – 1938) was the leader of the Boston School and one of the greatest portrait painters of his era.  At 19 Tarbell entered the school of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston where he studied with the European trained master Otto Grundmann.  In 1883 he travelled to Paris to study at the Académie Julian with Jules-Joseph Lefebvre.  Tarbell copied paintings at the Louvre and, encouraged by impressionism, painted in plein air in Brittany.  Tarbell also visited Italy where he was inspired by Titian and to the Netherlands were he was inspired by Van Dyck and Vermeer.

Returning to Boston in 1889, Tarbell taught at the Museum of Fine Arts School for more than twenty years.  He painted using sight-size and his work can be grouped into three categories:  exquisetly crafted interiors, impressionist paintings of figures outdoors, and portraits.  He painted no less than three  U.S. presidents: Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover.  However his best portraits may be of his family and friends.

Edmund Tarbell - New England Interior - 1906

Edmund Tarbell - New England Interior - 1906