A prolific painter of landscapes, John Joseph Enneking was one of the most popular painters in New England during the last quarter of the 19th century. Enneking grew up in a Germanic community in Ohio, attended St. Mary's College in Cincinnati in 1858, and served in the Union Army. He moved to Boston in 1864 and eventually pursued an art career after attempting a failed business as a tinware tradesman. He studied with Edward Scheich and Adolphe-Heinrich Lehr in Munich in 1872, then spent three years in Paris (where he is said to have painted with Monet) working mainly with Leon Bonnat and occasionally with Daubigny and Boudin. Enneking settled in the Boston suburb of Hyde Park in 1876. The following year he studied at the Museum School with William Rimmer and exhibited his work. Enneking traveled again to Paris, Holland, and Venice that fall.
For the next twenty years Enneking created densely painted landscapes and figurative works in his Boston studio and in his summer house in North Newry, Maine. He painted indoors and often reworked his canvases again and again in a manner reminiscent of the work of George Fuller and Ralph Blakelock. Many of his woodland twilight scenes in rich reds and browns recall the Barbizon style, while the bright, fresh colors of other landscapes use an impressionist color palette.
In addition to having a very successful career as a fine artist, Enneking was also an illustrator for Brush and Pencil, Harper's, and Scribner's magazines. He exhibited regularly in Boston, New York, Chicago, Washington DC, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, and at national expositions in Chicago, Buffalo and San Francisco. His paintings are found in private collections and prestigious institutions across the United States including: the Boston Museum of Fine Art, and the Worcester Museum.