Dennis Miller Bunker - The Brook at Medfield, 1889

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(Garden City, New York, 1861 - 1890, Boston)

Object details

Accession number

P3s19

Primary Creator

Dennis Miller Bunker (Garden City, New York, 1861 - 1890, Boston)

Full title

The Brook at Medfield

Creation Date

1889

Provenance


Purchased by Isabella Stewart Gardner from the artist, the American painter Dennis Miller Bunker (1861-1890), for $400 on 26 November 1889.

Marks

Signed and dated (lower left): D.M. Bunker / 1889

Dimensions

62 x 76 cm (24 7/16 x 29 15/16 in.)

Display Media

Oil on canvas

Web Commentary


During the summer of 1889, Bunker painted this landscape in Medfield, Massachusetts, a pastoral retreat southwest of Boston. The previous year he and his friend John Singer Sargent had experimented with Impressionism in England, both under the influence of Claude Monet. When Bunker returned to Boston, he continued with the style—working outdoors and using a bright palette applied in short brushstrokes. The fields and streams of Medfield reminded Bunker of the English countryside, and like Monet with his haystacks, he was inspired to document the same landscape over the course of one season. He wrote to Isabella, “How fast too the Summer is slipping by us!  Everything goes at such a pace—there is even a hint of autumn stealing into my parti-colored canvases, tho'  I try to keep them in their Summer garb….”





Isabella bought the painting in November—one of the only Impressionist paintings in her collection.



Permanent Gallery Location

Blue Room

Bibliography

Catalogue of an Exhibition of the Pictures of Dennis Miller Bunker. Exh. cat. (Boston: St. Botolph Club, 1891), no. 38. (entitled "The Brook"; probably this painting)
Catalogue. Fenway Court. (Boston, 1903), p. 1. (entitled "Medfield")
Philip Hendy. Catalogue of Exhibited Paintings and Drawings (Boston, 1931), p. 81. (entitled "The Brook at Medfield")
Gilbert Wendel Longstreet and Morris Carter. General Catalogue (Boston, 1935), p. 29. (entitled "The Brook at Medfield")
R.H. Ives Gammell. Dennis Miller Bunker (New York, 1953), pp. 15, 68, 75. (entitled "Medfield Meadow," called Bunker's finest landscape)
Philip Hendy. European and American Paintings in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, 1974), pp. 52-53, ill. (entitled "The Brook at Medfield")
Efrat Adler Porat. Dennis Miller Bunker (1861-1890): Pioneer for American Impressionist Landscape. MA Diss. (Tufts University, 1984), pp. 121-22, 231, fig. 69. (entitled "Meadow")
Erica Hirshler. Denis Miller Bunker: American Impressionist. Exh. cat. (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Chicago: Terra Museum of American Art and Denver: Denver Art Museum, 1995), pp. 66-67, 156, 175, 182, no. 38. (entitled "The Brook at Medfield")
Hilliard Goldfarb and Erica Hirshler. Dennis Miller Bunker and His Circle. Exh. cat. (Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 1995), p. 8. (entitled "The Brook at Medfield")
Katherine M. Bourguignon (ed.). American Impressionism: A New Vision 1880-1900. Exh. cat. (Chicago: Terra Foundation for American Art, 2014), pp. 39-40, 137, 146, fig. 12.

Rights and reproductions

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Commentary


During the summer of 1889, Bunker painted this landscape in Medfield, Massachusetts, a pastoral retreat southwest of Boston. The previous year he and his friend John Singer Sargent had experimented with Impressionism in England, both under the influence of Claude Monet. When Bunker returned to Boston, he continued with the style—working outdoors and using a bright palette applied in short brushstrokes. The fields and streams of Medfield reminded Bunker of the English countryside, and like Monet with his haystacks, he was inspired to document the same landscape over the course of one season. He wrote to Isabella, “How fast too the Summer is slipping by us!  Everything goes at such a pace—there is even a hint of autumn stealing into my parti-colored canvases, tho'  I try to keep them in their Summer garb….”





Isabella bought the painting in November—one of the only Impressionist paintings in her collection.