Wendel did not have to stray far to find inspiration in the rustic French landscape and soon abandoned the dark realism of his Munich years for the brighter palette and atmospheric light of Impressionism. The Harvest Gleaners, Giverny clearly demonstrates this transition in Wendel’s approach to landscape and embodies the pastoral theme found in the majority of his Giverny paintings.
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The early evening rendering of the verdant fields and towering cypresses, and the radiant glow of the waning sunlight peeking from behind the trees, reveal an artist fully engaged in exploring the possibilities of color, as he expressed in a letter to one of his students in Newport: “There is still a very great charm in the uncommon character of light and color here for me especially (especially in sunlight) that I have not met elsewhere. This iridescent shimmer in the land provokes experiment, and tends to run up large color bills.”
 Letter from Wendel to Anna Hunter, July 17, 1888. Anna Falconnet Hunter, Diaries, Newport Historical Society, Newport, RI, box 98.
By descent through the family of the artist
Nassau County Museum of Art / Normandy and Its Artists Remembered: / A 50th Anniversary of the Invasion / June 12, 1994 – September 11, 1994 / Theodore Wendel / The Harvest Gleaners, Giverny, c. 1886-1887 / oil on canvas / 13-1/4” x 16-1/2” / 156.1994.
1). Normandy and Its Artists Remembered: A 50th Anniversary of the Invasion, Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn, New York, June 12 – September 11, 1994
2). Bringing to Light: Theodore Wendel, Vose Galleries, Boston, October 19 – December 7, 2019