John Joseph Enneking was born on October 4, 1841 in Minster, Ohio. His parents, Joseph and Margaretha, were farmers. Enneking showed an interest in art from an early age, drawing landscapes and animals. Tragically, Enneking’s parents died in 1856. He was taken in by an aunt and uncle in Cincinnati.
In Cincinnati, it is believed Enneking saw his first art exhibitions and resolved to become a professional artist. He took art lessons at Cincinnati’s Mount Mary’s College. He later fought as a Union Soldier in the Civil War, was wounded and taken captive by the Confederates. When released, he went to Boston, built a home in Hyde Park and married.
Enneking traveled to Europe to continue his training. He studied first in Munich then in Paris under Leon Bonnat and Charles Daubigny. In 1873, Enneking was painting beside the most famous Barbizon and Impressionist painters, including Millet, Corot, Renoir, Monet and Pissarro. Enneking traveled and painted with Monet and Pissarro in Argenteuil.
Enneking returned to Boston in 1876. He was a great proponent of Impressionism, encouraging many young American painters to train with Monet in France. Enneking opened a studio next to Childe Hassam and George Fuller. He was considered one of the top modern landscape painters in New England at the time.
Enneking’s training allowed him to blend academic drawing with the spontaneous brushwork and heavy impasto of the Barbizon and Impressionist schools, giving him a unique approach to landscapes. Although he was adept at many types of subject matter, he is most remembered for his beautiful depictions of forest interiors and blazing New England sunset scenes.
More than just a painter, Enneking was also a fierce conservationist, advocating preservation and conservation of wild places. John Joseph Enneking died in Hyde Park, Massachusetts, in 1916.
John Joseph Enneking American Impressionist PainterPatricia Jobe Pierce
Pierce Galleries 1972
QuoteI’m a disciple of the esthetic, the beautiful… Study nature, nature is truth.