Eldred's - Auctioneers, Appraisers

John Joseph Ennkeing

John Joseph Ennkeing:

"Trout Brook" by J.J. Enneking. Sold at Eldred's for $9,375 in July 2015.


1841 - 1916

Plein air artist John Joseph Enneking, who frequently captured twilight in New England, is considered one of the first American Impressionists. He was born in farmland Ohio and began sketching and painting as a young child. Orphaned as a teenager he moved in with relatives in Cincinnati, where he took formal art lessons for the first time.  

His art studies were interrupted by the Civil War, during which he served in the Union Army and was badly injured and taken prisoner by the Confederates. Following his release and a lengthy recovery, he moved to Boston in 1868, then to Europe in the 1870s. There he studied at the Munich Academy and with Leon Bonnet and Charles Daubigny. He associated frequently with Millet, Corot, Renoir, Monet, Pissarro and Manet.

Enneking returned to Boston in 1876 and set up a studio. He found commercial success shortly thereafter. He was considered the city’s preeminent landscape artist whose work combined the saturated pigments of the Barbizon School with the brushwork style of Impressionists. He painted throughout New England, from the White Mountains to Cape Cod, and was an active conservationist, working to protect the area’s ecology. (Of note, Enneking was elected Boston’s Park Commissioner and the Enneking Parkway in Hyde Park, Massachusetts, is named in his honor.)

Enneking maintained a lucrative and distinguished career until his death in 1916. As one of the first Americans to paint alongside Monet and other Impressionists in France, Enneking was pivotal in introducing the movement to this country.

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