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Tarbell was trained at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and later became one of its most influential teachers. He adopted a brilliantly colored Impressionist technique by 1891, several years after he had returned to Boston from his artistic studies in Paris. Like many American painters, Tarbell adopted Impressionism selectively. In this idyllic image of his wife and baby daughter, he used broad, flickering brush strokes for the boat, the water, and his wife's skirt, but he painted her face and body with much smaller strokes, preserving a sense of solid form.

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