Oil on canvas, 23.5 x 19.5 inches/Signed lower right
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Coffin was born in Allegheny City, PA (now the North Side of Pittsburgh). He received his art training at Yale University graduating in 1874. As was common for many 19th century artists, he followed his initial training by traveling to Paris, France to gain additional expertise and exposure to, at that time, contemporary French “masters”. He studied for a brief period with Jacquesson de la Chevraise and later entered the atelier of Leon Bonnat. After returning to the United States in 1882, he moved to New York City. Coffin painted figures; however, he is best known for his landscapes. The Coffin family had a farm outside Jennerstown, PA in Somerset County, which figured in many of Coffin’s landscape paintings. His landscapes are painted in the manner of the French Barbizon School—a painterly style with a “moody” overprint. Many of his landscapes were executed using a higher-keyed pallet. This is especially true of his Jennerstown landscapes. Coffin exhibited at the Paris salons in 1879, 1880, and 1882; the National National Academy of Design, New York, in 1881 and 1886, where he won the Hallgarten prize. He received the Webb Prize from the Society of American Artists in 1891. He also exhibited at the Boston Art Club and the Brooklyn Art Association. Not content with being only an artist, he was an art critic Scribner's and Harper's Weekly, and was the art editor for the New York Sun (1896-1901), in addition to an illustrator/photographer for the Saturday Evening Post. Coffin was the Fine Arts Director for the Pan-American Exposition (1901, Buffalo, NY) and was a member of the New York Advisory Board for the Panama–Pacific International Exposition (1915, San Francisco, CA). As president of the American Artists' Committee of One Hundred, Coffin established a relief fund for families of French artists that served in World War I, for which he received the French Legion of Honor in 1917. He was a member of the Architectural League of New York, the Lotos Club and the National Academy of Design.