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 George Matthew Bruestle  (1871 - 1939)

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Lived/Active: New York/Connecticut      Known for: impressionist pastoral landscape paintings, illustration

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Ad Code: 3
George Matthew Bruestle
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The son of immigrants, George Bruestle was born and raised in New York City where he began a lifelong career in art.  In 1886, the year that he enrolled at the Art Students League*, Bruestle made his first trip to Essex, Connecticut where he was inspired to paint.  In 1900 when the Old Lyme Art Colony* was officially formed, George was spending time in Old Lyme.

He is best remembered for his small and intimate oils of the Lyme countryside. His distinctive hybrid style was the result of a broad spectrum of influences. Inspired by the French Impressionists*, George became impassioned with painting the effects of sunlight.  In addition, he was influenced by the academies that he attended in New York and Paris where he developed an expertise in drawing as well as a fondness for the work of Corot.

His exposure to these various sources blended with certain regional influences through the free exchange of ideas that characterized the art colonies and clubs of the day. As a result, his adaptation of Impressionist techniques, combined with a stylistic tendency toward favored structural forms and compositions of the Lyme landscape, gave Bruestle's work a uniquely American flavor.

From 1897 to 1901, Bruestle was an illustrator for Harper's magazine

Sources include:
Jeffrey Cooley, Art Professional
Peter Hastings Falk, Editor, Who Was Who in American Art

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary

Biography from The Cooley Gallery:
Sometimes intimate in scale and mood and at other times sweeping in their breadth, the always vibrant paintings of George M. Bruestle have long been associated with the pastoral landscape scenery of Lyme, Connecticut.  Born to German immigrants in New York City in 1871, Bruestle studied art first in New York and then in Paris. His initial sojourn to Connecticut brought him to Essex in 1886, and he was in Hadlyme by 1900, thus establishing him as an early member of the Old Lyme Art Colony*.

In 1905 he bought a summer home in the Hamburg section of Lyme.  Although he continued to maintain a residence in Manhattan, and was an active member of numerous New York City art associations—the Society of American Artists*, the National Arts Club*, Allied Artists of America*, the Salmagundi Club*, and the Lotos Club*—his signature work was inspired by the rural topography of the Connecticut River Valley.

Bruestle’s work suggests myriad influences, from the art of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875), to the gestural and graphically dramatic painting of early 20th century American realism.  What unifies these various strains is Bruestle’s consistent fascination with farms, roads, hillsides, rocky croppings and weathered architecture, and the sensuous and richly expressive paint application he employed to sculpt the light-struck forms of his favorite bucolic settings.  Over time the artist’s sensitive naturalism, reminiscent of the French Barbizon* school, evolved into a broader and more dynamic compositional manner.  The later paintings feature a freshness of color suggestive of work done en plein air, while demonstrating a selection of motifs that may well have been perfected in the studio.

Bruestle exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Corcoran Gallery, Lyme Art Association, National Academy of Design, Paris Salon of 1895, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.  His works are represented in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, the Butler Institute of American Art, the Florence Griswold Museum, and the San Diego Museum of Art.

He died in 1939 in New Haven, Connecticut.

Written by: Jerry N. Weiss

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at

George Bruestle is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Old Lyme Colony Painters

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