Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Art Review - "Reflections" by William Merritt Chase

Last week, Kimberly and I were able to get to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. It's been more than a decade since we last visited, so it was wonderful to once again see such an excellent collection. While the Sargent paintings are the star, and I'll feature many of those in upcoming posts, there are also a number of paintings that are less well known but equally impressive. Today's #MuseumTourTuesday post features a painting by American artist and teacher, William Merritt Chase.

"Reflections" • William Merritt Chase • Oil on Canvas • About 1892

Always the clever character, Chase plays with the idea of a portrait, placing his wife's visage in the mirror and using the title both literally and as an indication of her own inner thoughts.

Notice how the artist frames the figure in the golden color of the window drapes as well as the wicker chair. The face of his wife is lit as if by the most talented Hollywood lighting expert, making it clear that Chase's influence went well beyond painting. As for the skill with which the chair is rendered, I can only say "wow!" I've included a few close-ups for a better view of these details.
"Reflections" Detail • William Merritt Chase • Oil on Canvas • About 1892

"Reflections" Detail • William Merritt Chase • Oil on Canvas • About 1892

Born in 1849, William Merritt Chase studied in New York before relocating to St Louis, Missouri, where wealthy collectors recognized his immense talent and arranged for him to study in Europe. Returning to New York, Chase opened his own studio, instructing some of today's most famous painters, including George Bellows, Howard Chandler Christy, George Ennis, John Marin, Georgia O'Keefe and Joseph Stella. The Chase School, which he founded in 1896, is now known as the Parsons School of Design.
Painting photos by Saunders Fine Arts

© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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