Walter Thompson [1882-1948]
Golden Island, Georgia, 1931.
Oil on canvas
20 x 16 inches
Signed, titled and dated lower right and verso.
Walter Thompson (1882-1948)
Walter Whitcomb Thompson, a native of South Carolina, studied art at the University of Florida. He exhibited at the Telfair Academy and became director of the Beaufort, South Carolina art colony. He was a member of the Association of Georgia Artists and the Savannah Art Club.
Thompson continues the long tradition of American landscape painting that began in the early nineteenth century with the painters of the Hudson River School and their large expansive paintings of the wilderness. In the mid-to late-nineteenth century, artists like George Inness incorporated the approach of the French Barbizon School. Landscape was still the favored subject, but now the focus was on the expressive use of oil paints, not only to record an image, but also to evoke a mood. In the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries, painters such as Inness carried Barbizon a step further, preferring poetry over factual representation. This stylistic trend is often called Tonalism.