Walter Parsons Shaw Griffin ( - )

Walter Griffin peint par son ami Dennis Bunker

Walter Griffin painted by his friend Dennis Bunker

Walter Parsons Shaw Griffin is an impressionist painter of the American School. The son of a figurehead sculptor in the port city of Portland, Maine, Griffin learned the trade from his father. Hired to create decorative sculptures on the Boston State House, he enrolled in evening classes at the Museum School, where the students of his generation were Simmons, Benson and Metcalf. He left for New York in 1882 and entered the National Academy, where he remained in 1886, to see Duran-Ruel's Impressionist exhibition; his friends included Bunker, Evans and Theodore Robinson.
In 1887, he arrived in France for ten years. A pupil of Laurens, Collins and Fremiet, he attended the artists' colonies in Grez and, to support himself, ran an American summer school in Fleury. In 1894, an exhibition in the United States brought in enough money to finance a three-year stay in Brittany.
His 1896 cow herder combines an impressionist touch with a frontal composition "à la Bastien" (Jules Bastien-Lepage, French naturalist painter) and a range of "plein air" tones, elements that led American critics to rank him alongside Robinson and Hassam as one of the foremost American Impressionists.

With Hassam and Metcalf, he transformed the colony of Old Lyme (Connecticut), the "American Barbizon", into an Impressionist colony. He later returned to Le Pouldu, traveled to Brittany, then left for Norway. This artist spent over twenty-three years in France.

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