Monet and Two Theodores – An Impressionist Trio

by | Jul 15, 2022

American Impressionist Theodore Robinson (1852-1896) divided his time between New York and France, where he lived next door to his friend Claude Monet; they often advised each other.  Robinson introduced his friend, artist Theodore Earl Butler (my 6th cousin four times removed), to Monet, and Butler was one of a select few who was invited to paint in Monet’s garden. When Butler married Monet’s stepdaughter and favorite model, Suzanne Hoschedé, Robinson commemorated the event with this painting, “The Wedding March.”

This painting is in the collection of a private trust, but is currently on display at the “Whistler to Cassatt: American Painters in France” exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, VA, through July 31, 2022, along with Robinson’s “In the Sun” (1891), below, a painting of his girlfriend, Marie (a new addition to the collection of the VMFA.)

My recorded art appreciation exploration, “Paris’ Influence on Cassatt, Sargent, Whistler and other American Artists” offers a virtual visit to the exhibition.

In 1896, Robinson was in New York, having just written to Monet about his plans to return to France, when he died from an acute asthma attack at age 43. Monet lived twice as long, until he was 86. If Robinson had lived as long, would his reputation have rivaled that of his French friend?