CHILDE HASSAM (1859–1935)
Woman at the Door, about 1889
Watercolor on paper, 14 3/4 x 10 in.
Signed: (at lower right): Childe Hassam
EX COLL.: Mrs. Anna E. Little; to sale, American Art Association, Anderson Art Galleries, New York, November, 15, 1929, no. 36 (for $60); to Mr. Harry Hirschfield; to Mr. and Mrs. McGarry, St. Petersburg, Florida, about 1930, and by descent in family, until the present
ON DEPOSIT: Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Florida, 1987–2016
Throughout his lifetime Childe Hassam rejected the "impressionist" label, placing himself, instead, in the lineage of English landscape tradition descending through James Mallord William Turner and John Constable. Indeed, Hassam's mature work is typically American in that it is stylistically inconsistent—freely combining strategies, devices, and influences in an eclectic mix to suit the artist's immediate purpose. Nonetheless, the significance of the 1886 to 1889 period to Hassam's later body of work is certainly his mastery of the feathery brush-stroke techniques and bright tonalities of French impressionism. A picture such as A Woman at the Door can be seen, then, as a prelude, indeed, a sine qua non, to the light-infused lyricism of the Hassam years at Celia Thaxter's Appledore cottage, on the Isle of Shoals off the New Hampshire coast.
Woman at the Door will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of Hassam’s work in preparation by Stuart P. Feld and Kathleen M. Burnside.