Mathias J. Alten: An Evolving Legacy
1410 College Dr.
Traverse City, MI 49686
The German-born American artist, Mathias Joseph Alten (1871-1938) is often referred to as the Dean of Michigan Painters. Working in a traditional representational style, Alten incorporated the aesthetics and techniques of the Impressionist Movement in paintings infused with light and punctuated with deft brushwork. Based in Grand Rapids, Alten created more than 3,800 works over a forty-plus-year career including landscapes, seascapes, portraits, florals, and still-lifes. Alten began as a naturalist scene painter, eventually transitioning from Barbizon and Tonalist traditions to an Impressionistic style. His painting style evolved according to his audience and personal preferences. And while he avoided embracing the “modernist” style of the early Twentieth-Century, he was sympathetic to it.