Catalog of the Fine Arts Collection

Please note that the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum prohibits the use of images from its collection in public exhibition, broadcast, electronic reproduction or publication in any form without prior written permission from the institution. If you would like to reproduce any of the Art Gallery images in any form, contact us at 748-8291.


William Stanley Haseltine (1835-1900), American
Traunstein, The Mill Dam, undated
Gift of Mrs. Roger H. Plowden

Watercolor has had an irregular history in American art. The American Watercolor Society, founded in 1866 to advocate and encourage the professional use of the medium, was a relative latecomer to the field. Because watercolors are particularly sensitive to light, they are rarely displayed alongside oil paintings and sculpture, which are more durable. The presence of Haseltine's Traunstein, The Mill Dam in the Athenaeum's collection is a reminder of the rapid growth of interest in watercolor during the 186os and 1870s.

This painting offers an intimate portrayal of rural life in the southeastern German province of Bavaria. The tight, detailed style and unimposing subject matter characterize the influences of German, French, and English aesthetics on Haseltine, who studied in Dusseldorf and greatly admired the philosophies of the French Barbizon painters and British critic John Ruskin. An avid fisherman, Haseltine was drawn to Traunstein, where he summered during the mid-1870s, as much by its trout streams as by its scenery.



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