Artist: Dwight William Tryon (1849-1925)
Historical period(s)
Oil on canvas
H x W (overall): 96.8 x 211.4 cm (38 1/8 x 83 1/4 in)
United States
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Oil painting

landscape, spring, United States

From 1893 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from the artist, Dwight William Tryon on April 12, 1893 [1]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [2]


[1] See Voucher No. 22, April 1893, Box 2, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. Curatorial Remarks, S. Hobbs, 1978: One of a series of four canvases based on the seasons, "Springtime" was commissioned for Freer's new home in Detroit which was built in 1892-1893.

[2] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Dwight William Tryon (C.L. Freer source) 1849-1925
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


In 1891, Tryon offered to paint a picture or two for the house Charles Lang Freer was building in Detroit,  "a dream of Beauty," as it was described, "inside and out." Freer readily accepted Tryon's offer, and before long the commission had grown to include five landscapes for the main hall: Summer (F1893.16), Autumn, Winter (F1893.17), Springtime, and Dawn (F1906.86). In these "decorations," as Tryon called these paintings the artist attempted to maintain the classic "purity" of the interior design by keeping a consistent horizon in every scene. Although each of the paintings would sometime be exhibited separately, Freer and Tryon always regarded them as an "ensemble."

Spring and autumn were Tryon's favorite seasons. He customarily timed his arrival in the country so that he could "catch the sping," hoping to glimpse the contours of the trees through the budding branches; and he never returned to New York until the end of the autumn, waiting until the leaves had fallen so that he could once again observe the "wonderful anatomy of the trees."

Published References
  • Michael G. Kammen. A Time to Every Purpose: The Four Seasons in American Culture. Chapel Hill. pl. 19.
  • Mary Ellen Hayward. The Influence of the Classical Oriental Tradition. vol. 14, no. 2 Chicago, Summer 1979. fig. 13.
  • Thomas W. Brunk. The House that Freer Built. no. 3, Spring 1981. p. 14.
  • David Park Curry. James McNeill Whistler at the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington and New York, 1984. p. 25, fig. 36.
  • Charles Henry Caffin. The Art of Dwight W. Tryon: An Appreciation. New York. p.71.
  • Henry C. White, Houghton Mifflin Co. The Life and Art of Dwight William Tryon. Boston and New York, 1930. p. 82.
  • Susan Hobbs. A Connoisseur's Vision of America: The American Collection of Charles Lang Freer., August 1977. p. 84.
  • Linda Merrill. An Ideal Country: Paintings by Dwight William Tryon in the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington and Hanover and London, 1990. cat. 8, pp. 117.
  • Sadakichi Hartmann. A History of American Art. Boston. p.131.
  • Charles Henry Caffin. American Masters of Painting: Being Brief Appreciations of Some American Painters. Garden City, N.Y. p.160.
  • David C. Huntington. The Quest for Unity: American Art between World's Fairs 1876-1893. Exh. cat. Detroit. p. 224.
Collection Area(s)
American Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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