Weir House, Weir Studio, and Young Studio Under Restoration
The historic Weir House, Weir Studio, and Young Studio are currently undergoing restoration and are closed to the public. The Burlingham House Visitor Center and park grounds remain open and available during regular hours. More »
Studies in Europe
1873 to 1877
National Park Service, Weir Farm National Historic Site
Weir's four years in Europe were exactly the intense experience with art his father wanted for his son. Julian not only studied techniques, but also discovered the rich art history Europe had to offer. Weir traveled extensively, enraptured by visits to rural France, Spain, Holland, England and seeing the artwork and scenery they presented. "Yes John," Weir wrote to his brother from Holland, "a man could afford to starve for the sake of seeing these great wonders." Back in Paris, worn out from his travels, Weir spent his Saturday afternoons at the Louvre museum for "recuperation." Throughout, Weir continued his own art studies with Jean-Léon Gérôme, who was himself considered a master. His teaching was effective, and Weir won the top award in Gerome's studio. He also exhibited at the Paris Salon. Yet even as Weir learned the strict rules of art in the academic style, he was already formulating his own ideas which would foreshadow his later switch to Impressionism. "To me," he wrote in 1876, "there are no rules except those which your own feelings suggest and he who renders nature to make one feel the sentiment of such, to me is the greatest man."
Did You Know?
Weir Farm National Historic Site is located in the historic town of Branchville, Connecticut. It was named for the "branch" of the train line that used to connect the Danbury railroad to the center of Ridgefield, Connecticut.