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 Truman (General) Seymour  (1824 - 1891)

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Lived/Active: New York / Italy      Known for: watercolor landscape, panoramic view

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A watercolorist who was primarily a military man, Truman Seymour spent his retirement in Europe and did his most productive painting there. His work focused on changing light and color, and he also did vast panoramic views, reflecting his training in aerial perspective from West Point Academy.

Most of his paintings were held by his family after his death in 1891 and were not available for public viewing until the Richardson-Clarke Gallery in Boston acquired a number of them in the late 1990s. Two exceptions were special exhibitions, one of them curated by Kent Ahrens at West Point in 1974 and the other by the Everhart Museum in 1986.

Seymour was educated at West Point Academy in New York where drawing classes were required, and in 1840, he became drawing teacher at the Academy under the direction of Robert W. Weir. Seymour married Weir's daughter, Louisa, and began a lasting friendship with her two brothers, Julian Alden and John Ferguson Weir.

In the military, he served in the Mexican War and Civil War and achieved the rank of brevet general. In 1876, he retired with poor health, and he and Louisa moved to Europe in 1877, living first in London where they were joined by J. Alden Weir. They visited with James Whistler, who had been a cadet at West Point during Seymour's teaching period there.

The couple also lived in Paris and Italy, where their home ultimately became Florence. During this time, he produced the vast majority of his watercolors, capturing the hot Mediterranean sun, colorful market scenes and fragmentary architectural settings.


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