Responsible for the surge of interest in Impressionism in Boston during the late nineteenth century, painter John Joseph Enneking would resist belonging to organizations, groups or even "schools" of painting, and would earn a reputation as one of the most important landscape painters of his era.
He was orphaned early in life and enlisted in the Union Army during the American Civil War. A severe injury ended his military career and after a few years in Boston, where he studied lithography and landscape paintings, he was soon heading to Europe to begin his formal education in art.
He arrived first in Munich, where he studied figure painting before heading to Paris where he studied for a time with Leon Bonnat, Charles Daubigny and Louis Boudin, and where it is said that he painted with Monet, Pissarro and Renoir in Monet's gardens at Argenteuil.
Upon his return in 1876, Enneking opened a studio near Boston and had his first solo exhibition two years later. This remarkable display brought him a tremendous amount of attention and he was soon busy with commission work and illustration requests for the most popular magazines of the day. He was also giving lessons at his studio throughout this time as well and is responsible for advising many Boston artists to visit France and pay attention to the Impressionism they encountered.
He exhibited widely throughout his career, and was one of the most popular painters of his day. Enneking did not hold membership with any particular associations or clubs, but was honored towards the end of his life at a testimonial dinner with more than one thousand admirers in attendance.
His works are in many major American museums including the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine.