Are Texas Landscapes Special?

Julian Onderdonk (1882-1922), “A Road in Late Afternoon,” 1921, oil on canvas, 20 x 30 in. © Museum of Fine Arts, Houston 2017

Well, through the creative vision of important painter Julian Onderdonk (1882-1922), the answer is an emphatic “Yes!” He was an American impressionist with supreme talent, and wonderful selections from Onderdonk’s oeuvre are currently on view here.

As the San Antonio Museum of Art correctly suggests, every Texan knows that there’s something special about Texas landscapes. This was certainly true for Texas native Julian Onderdonk, who made it his artistic mission to capture the Lone Star State’s majestic beauty over a brilliant but short career.

On view now through April 23, “Julian Onderdonk and the Texan Landscape” at the San Antonio Museum of Art features a carefully curated selection of more than 25 paintings spanning the artist’s entire career. William Rudolph, curator of American Art at the San Antonio Museum, said, “Julian Onderdonk’s work still influences the way visitors revere — and artists paint — the Texas landscape. It is exciting to share these works — many from private collections.”

Continuing, the museum reports, “The San Antonio native and American impressionist is best known for his signature bluebonnets and of the Texas countryside; however, he spent his formative years training in New York under American artist William Merritt Chase (a fine example of Chase’s work is represented in the Museum’s collection, Mrs. Chase and Child, circa 1889). It is only after returning to Texas in 1909, that Onderdonk portrayed the distinctive surroundings of his state at different times of day and became admired by collectors.”

To learn more, visit the San Antonio Museum of Art.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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