Charles Warren Eaton’s artistic success came as a young man. His entrance into the art world coincided with a profound change in the prevailing artistic style in America. In the late 1870s the highly realistic and detailed Hudson River School manner, which had dominated the American art scene for over forty years, was giving way to a much looser, moodier style that younger artists were bringing home from Europe. This new style, which would later come to be known as tonalism, emphasized low-key colors and tended to depict intimate settings rather than scenes of grandeur. Tonalism is characterized by landscape paintings with an overall tone of colored atmosphere or mist. Between 1880 and 1915, dark, neutral hues such as gray, brown or blue, often dominated compositions by artists associated with the style. Eaton adopted this style in New York early in his career. His body of work can be tracked by how influenced by Tonalism the piece is. Later in his life Eaton gave up the dark palette of Tonalist paintings and gradually used brighter paints. Plains of Holland, with its vibrant grass and pastel sky, was created towards the very end of his artistic life.
-Susan Bonta, Class of 2018