Theodore Earl Butler (American, 1936)

Theodore Earl Butler Theodore Earl Butler (American, 1861–1936) was one of America’s most innovative Impressionist artists, and was the son-in-law of famed painter Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926).

Born in 1861, Butler enrolled in the Art Students League in New York, and then continued his studies at various art academies in Paris. While in Paris, Butler enrolled at La Grande-Chaumière, Atelier Colarossi, and at the Académie Julian, alongside Pierre Bonnard (French, 1867–1947) and Édouard Vuillard (French, 1868–1940). Butler studied under Charles Emile Auguste Carolus-Duran (French, 1837–1917), whose studio began with 12 students, including Butler, James Carroll Beckwith (American, 1852–1917), and Will Low (American, 1853–1932). The following year, John Singer Sargent (American, 1856–1925), a friend of Paul César Helleu (French, 1859–1927), joined them. Carolus-Duran, who was also known to give free private lessons to painters, introduced his students to the work of Monet. Monet had moved to Giverny in 1883, and it was there that Butler visited him in the summer of 1888. Initially inspired by Monet, Butler eventually developed his own technique and style.

Still tied to Impressionist subject matter, Butler applied his own vivid, energetic brushwork, striking colors, and highly saturated pigments to his boldly executed compositions. The prestigious Vollard Gallery hosted a solo show for Butler in 1897. Butler then traveled to New York, where he executed his innovative and very well-received Brooklyn Bridge painting. From that point forward, Butler turned from genre scenes to landscape painting. Butler participated in the Armory Show in Chicago in 1913, and the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition in San Francisco two years later.

He was a Founding member of the Society of Independent Artists.


Born in Columbus, OH
Set of for Paris, France
Studied at the academies Julian and Colarossi and in the independent atelier of Carolus-Duran
Honorable Mention for his painting La Veuve (The Widow), Paris Salon, Paris, France
Settled in Giverny, France
Married Suzanne Hoschede, Monet's stepdaughter
Returned to the United States to install murals in the suburban New York home of William A. Paine
Contributed two canvases to the International Exhibition of Modern Art (more familiarly known as the "Armory Show"), which was held in New York that year
Founded the Society of Independent Artists and served on the board of directors
Returned to Giverny, France
Died in Giverny, France