Painting by American Impressionist Loaned in Honor of 75th Anniversary
December 31, 2011
A painting by American Impressionist Childe Hassam has been loaned to honor MWPAIs 75th anniversary and is currently on view in the Museum of Art.
Childe Hassam was a prominent turn-of-the-20th-century American painter of urban and coastal scenes that he executed in an impressionist style, a progressive art movement that emerged in France in the 1870s and 1880s. Impressionist paintings feature everyday subjects, unconventional points of view, the depiction of various kinds of sunlight, and the application of thin, visible strokes of paint on the surface of a canvas.
Hassams first one-man exhibitions took place in Boston in 1882 and 1884. By the mid-1880s he was painting cityscapes of the Boston area. Hassam traveled to Paris to study art in the autumn of 1886. Upon his arrival in Europes art capital he painted the same kind of urban subjects he previously painted in Boston. The wintery subject matter of this picturewhich has not been publicly exhibited for nearly 100 yearssuggests that it was one of the pictures Hassam painted shortly after his late-autumn arrival in Paris. Its cool, silver and mauve tonalities create the same kind of unifying atmospheric effect that appears in some of the Boston streetscapes Hassam painted prior to his departure for Europe.
By the autumn of 1887 Hassams paintings began to reflect the transformational influence of the brighter palette of colors favored by the French Impressionists, whom he never met but whose art he saw in Paris. After he returned to the United States in 1889 Hassam continued painting in the impressionist style, which he used for a wide variety of landscape and figure subjects during his long, prolific, and commercially successful career.