The painter Theodore Robinson is considered a prominent figure in American Impressionism, although his work received little recognition during his lifetime. He grew up in Evansville, in the state of Wisconsin, and in Boston, where he studied art for a brief period. In 1874 he moved to New York and attended classes at the National Academy of Design.
From 1876 to 1878 Robinson lived in Paris, where he studied under Émile-Auguste Carolus-Duran and Jean-Léon Gérôme. In 1879, shortly before returning to the United States, he visited Venice, where he met James Whistler. Back in New York, Robinson began to teach at Mrs Sylvanevus Reed’s School and collaborated with John La Farge in executing mural paintings and mosaics. In 1881 he became a member of the Society of American Artists. During the summer of 1884 Robinson spent a long spell in Barbizon and the imprint of the school of that name became evident in his work. Between 1887 and 1892 he lived most of the time in Europe, mainly in the French village of Giverny. There he met Claude Monet, who became a good friend and whose influence was instrumental in steering his work towards a personal interpretation of Impressionism.
In 1892 Robinson settled again in New York and taught at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia and other art schools. He died young in 1896.