My Summer Studio dates from the last years of John Henry Twachtman’s life, when he summered in Gloucester, Massachusetts. In contrast to the muted, tonalist palette of such Greenwich paintings as Winter, early 1890s, My Summer Studio has a wide range of vivid color, including warm strokes of orange and yellow laid over deeper, cooler blues and purples. The tendency toward simplification of form and abstraction takes on new boldness here and is enhanced by the picture’s square format and varied and vigorous brushwork. The subtle lyricism of a single motif in nature is replaced by a boisterous complexity of images. Rocks, vegetation, and the studio building, which juts out over a promontory, establish a more structured composition.
In My Summer Studio, Twachtman achieved a striking synthesis of old and new, bringing together the bravura manner of his early Munich training, impressionist optical effects, vivid color, and an innovative composition.