American & European Paintings - September 2008
Leonard Ochtman
(American, born The Netherlands, 1854–1934)
Pool at Grayledge, Cos Cob Connecticut, 1932
Oil on canvas, 24 × 30 inches
Signed and dated at lower left: “LEONARD OCHTMAN/[1925?]”
RS 6408

Leonard Ochtman was born in Zonnemaire, Holland, the son of a decorative painter. He immigrated with his family to the United States and settled in Albany, New York, in 1866. Ochtman studied with his father, worked as a draftsman for a wood engraver, and frequently visited New York City where he absorbed recent trends in art. Although he took classes at the Art Students League in 1879, the artist was basically self-taught. He began to exhibit at the National Academy of Design in 1882, and traveled to Europe in 1886, where he was particularly influenced by the Dutch Hague School painters Jacob Maris (1837–1899) and Anton Mauve (1838–1888). Ochtman returned to the United States in 1887 and settled in New York. He joined the art colony in Cos Cob, Connecticut, shortly after his marriage to the artist Mina Fonda (18621924) in 1891.

Ochtman became an extremely popular and successful landscape painter during the 1890s and early 1900s, and was best known for his views of the hills around Greenwich, Connecticut, and the Mianus River. He exhibited widely and won numerous prestigious awards. He was elected an associate of the National Academy in 1898 and made a full academician in 1904. He was a member of many art organizations including the National Institute of Arts and Letters, the American Water Color Society, the Society of Landscape Painters, the Woodstock Art Association, and the Lotos Club. He became one of the founders of the Greenwich Society of Art in 1912 and served as president of the organization from 1919 to 1932. Ochtman died in Cos Cob.

This late painting represents the grounds of Grayledge, the house and studio that the artist built in Cos Cob in 1896.


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