Gropius House

Parlor Painting Twilight Landscape

John Appleton Brown (1844-1902), best known for his paintings of apple orchards in the spring (which earned him the moniker “Apple-blossom” Brown), painted this around 1880. The Newburyport native crafted a successful career as an artist. Brown moved to Boston around 1865 to study art and the following year traveled to France to study. According to his contemporaries, his paintings were “simple, unaffected, close to the everyday heart of nature, never dramatic, stilted, emphatic, rhetorical.” They sold well and his annual exhibitions held in Boston were a fixture of the art scene. Today art historians consider Brown to be among the first American Impressionists. This painting, with its wonderful original frame and its focus on the quality of light at the end of the day, is a particularly moody example of Brown’s work.