Janet Gwendolyn Smith Art

Man Fishing Attribute Claude Monet

Academic Research

Charles T. Webber - Closson Art Galleries - Paris Salon - Monet

CHARLES T. WEBBER (1825-1911)

Cincinnati, Ohio Artist

Exhibited: Paris Salon: 1881, 1888

Gallery on West Fourth Street (artist district)

Charles T. Webber is known for his portrait, historical, narrative and figure work. The artist's style was realism and not impressionism.

 West Fourth Street was the artist district in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Closson's Art Galleries were located on West Fourth Street and Webber’s Artistic Photographic and Picture Gallery was located near Closson’s Art Galleries in the artist district.

 Webber was presented at the Paris Salon, in 1881 with his picture Long Shore Folk on the Bayou Teche. In 1886 Webber returned to Paris with Mosler, where 2 of his works appeared at the 1888 Paris Salon. He returned to Cincinnati and began his work for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exhibition in Chicago. The exact date Webber left Paris is unknown, but it is prior to 1892. Mary Syre Haverstock, Artists in Ohio 1787-1900, A Biographical Dictionary, p.916-917 (Kent State UP, 2000) Artist, biography of Charles T. Webber.

 During the years of Webber’s travels to Paris the American import duty/tax was in effect for all European art (1882-1891, Signature & Taxation). 

C. T. Webber, signed the study in the lower left. The handwriting of CTWebber was confirmed with the signature photograph published in the exhibition catalogue. The Golden Age; Cincinnati Painters of the Nineteenth Century, (Ohio Arts Council) 1979, Cincinnati Art Museum, p. 218.

 In 1905 the artist was 80 years of age in poor health and in financial difficulty. The Cincinnati Historical Society Bulletin, Vol. 37, Summer 1979, No. 2, (Eden Park, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1979), p. 142.

C T Webber Signature

Biographical Notes:

CHARLES T. WEBBER (1825-1911)

Mary Syre Haverstock, Artists in Ohio 1787-1900, A Biographical Dictionary, p.916-917 (Kent State UP, 2000) Artist, biography of Charles T. Webber.

The Cincinnati Historical Society Bulletin, Vol. 37, Summer 1979, No. 2, (Eden Park, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1979), p. 142.Rettig, Cincinnati, letter to J. H. Gest, Director of the Cincinnati Art Museum, April 17, 1911.

The letter states the purchase of the painting is to assist the artist, Webber in paying his debts. The painting purchased was the Underground Railroad. Another unfinished composition by the same name, but undated is in the collection of The Cincinnati Historical Society.

Ibid, p.143. C. T. Webber and Frank Duveneck were friends (both from Kentucky) and Webber’s portrait was painted by Duveneck.

 Robert C. Vitz, The Queen of the Arts, (Kent State University Press, 1989), p.160.

Webber, arrived from Kentucky to Cincinnati, 1857. Considered the dean of Cincinnati’s art community. Webber was a charter member of many art organizations and art clubs. He closely associated himself with the artists on Fourth Street. The artist’s district was located on Fourth Street in Cincinnati, Ohio.

 Ibid p. 234. Cincinnati Art Museum (CAM) in 1895 exhibited Monet under the direction of Joseph Gest. 

Ibid p. 234. In 1897 CAM spring exposition included a strong modern national perspective including: Weir, Reid, Sargent, Hassam, Chase, Cox and Tryon. 

Ibid. p 244. The regional Ohio artists were supported by the community; Twachtman, Cox, Blum and DeCamp. The local Cincinnati art market at the turn of the century was better than any previous time. Affording the teachers of the art academy to travel to Europe and the East. Duveneck (unofficial 1890), a major art personality gave Cincinnati Art Academy a high profile in national art publications.

Artist Biographical Research Researched & written by: Janet G. Smith, ISA, International Society of Appraisers

THE CLOSSON ART GALLERIES, Established: 1866, Owner: A. B. Closson,Location: West 4th Street and Race Street,  Cincinnati, Ohio

Closson’s was located in the artist district selling artist supplies and framed photographs of Civil War generals. As Cincinnati developed, Closson’s inventory of imported art and antiques increased to accomodate client demand. The interior designers of the city used Closson’s as a source for decorations for their client’s homes.


Times Star, April 11, 1956: Closson Art Galleries was originally Closson-Traxel and Moss.

The Cincinnati Enquirer, January 5, 2003: Closson’s Art Galleries supported the local artists with exhibitions and encouraged their clients to purchase regional art for their homes. Closson's family members supported and participated on the board of directors for the Cincinnati Art Museum.

The Cincinnati Enquirer, January 5, 2003: 1907 Poor health forces A. B. Closson to leave Ohio for Europe. He was cured, but remained in Europe, shipping art and antiques to Ohio for the gallery business. Closson's continued to make annual buying trips to Europe.

The Cincinnati Enquirer, May 25, 1999: 1911 Closson’s Art Galleries were completely destroyed by fire.

Dealer Biographical Research, Researched & written by: Janet G. Smith, ISA, Member of the International Society of Appraisers


Patricia Mainardi, The End of the Salon: Art and the State in the Early Third Republic (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1993) p.14.

The salon decided to allow artists to produce small easel pictures. The Salon sold the small pictures directly to private collectors.

Harrison White and Cynthia White, Canvases and Careers: Institutional Change in the French Painting World (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1965) p.79.

The French Academy did not allow members to exhibit or sell artwork. The academic philosophy was exhibitions and sales conflicted with the Academician.


John House, Monet Nature into Art, (Yale UP, New Haven and London, 1986) p. 8. "He lost a close friend on Manet's death in 1883 and was the only Impressionist to be a pallbearer at his funeral. Thereafter, it was Renoir who, until his death, remained Monet's closest friend..."

Ibid. p. 9.  "Renoir and Monet visit Cezanne in the South of France in 1883."

Ibid. p. 11. "1897 George Petit purchased a small group of paintings. Petit probably contributed to Monet’s decision to submit in 1880 to the Paris Salon urging him not to continue to sell at low prices. Monet wrote de Bellio (8 January 1880- W letter 170 also letter to Duret, 8 March 1880 W letter 173) advising him the inexpensive paintings had come to an end. Durand-Ruel never had a contract with Monet who felt free to deal on his own."

Ibid. p 26. "Pere Poly, Only the sea made Monsieur Monet happy. He needed water, great quantities of it, and the more there was of it, even if it was spattering our faces with foam, the better pleased he was." Le Braz, A. Illes Bretonnes (Paris, Belle-Ille-Sein, 1935) p.49

 Ibid. p. 148. "In the 1880s Monet normally dated his paintings with the year in which he had began them, though signature and date were added on the picture's completion for sale or exhibition, which was sometimes considerably later."

Ibid. p.159. "His (Monet's) use of esquisse and pochade is regularly different from the meaning he gave to etude. Esquisse regularly characterises canvases on which he had finished work, but which were left in a sketchy state, not as highly finished as the paintings he normally sold; a pochade refers to a rapid esquisse."

 Ibid. p. 159. “Sometimes I sell certain esquisses a little more cheaply, but only to friends and artists.” In his 1891 letter shows, he continued on occasion to see or given such esquisses to artist or friends. (30 June 1891, W letter 1116)" 

Definitions: Esquisse, pochade and etude: Esquisse=the first sketch of a picture, Pochade=a quick sketch in colour, usually oils, made in the open air, often used by landscape painters as a preliminary stage in the planning of a full-size picture, Etude=a simple study.

James A. Ganz and Richard Kendall, The Unknown Monet, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA, (New Haven and London, Yale UP, 2007)pp.198-200. 1883, D435 The Two Anglers.

This study information is important: during the year 1883 Monet was studying water, fishermen, etc.

 Charles Merritt Mount, Monet, A Biography, (NY, Simons & Schuster, 1966) p. 427. "Jean Monet's trout farm."

 Anne Distel, Impressionism: The First Collectors, trans. Barbara Perround-Benson (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1990) p. 36. “George Petit’s archives lost.”

John House, Monet: Nature into Art, (New Haven and London: Yale UP, 1986) pp.5-6. and Charles Stuckey, “Love Money and Monet’s Debacle Paintings of 1880”, Monet at Vetheuil: The Turning Point, Exh. Cat. (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1998) pp. 41-62. Camille died September 1879, Alice Hoschede provided care for the combined families' eight children. The family moved in 1883 to Giverny, overlooking water meadows of the Seine. This domestic security allowed Monet to travel and paint throughout France with confidence his children were provided for.

False Impressions,  The Hunt for the Big Time Art Fakes,

Author, Thomas Hoving 

Hoving, Thomas, False Impressions, (NYC, NY, Simon & Schuster, 1996) p 75.

 "I suspect that some of the supposed fakes of Claude Monet (1840-1926) are in fact his own near-copies of his own compositions. He is know to have placed ads in local French papers in the late nineteenth century offering for sale works of haystacks, poplars, and the facade of Rouen Cathedral that he guaranteed to make different by changes in light and shading. And all the long we thought Monet was dutifully recording the subtle variations in light and hue for the grand experiment of Impressionism! More practically, it was to keep him in the style to which he had become accustomed."

Notes and comparisons researched, compiled & written by: Janet G. Smith, January 2007

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