Childe Hassam (1859-1935)

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  • CHILDE HASSAM (1859-1935)
  • Along the Coast [Perros-Guirec, Cotes du Nord, France], 1910
  • Oil on panel
  • 7 x 10 inches
  • Signed and dated 'Childe Hassam/1910,' lower right. Inscribed with artist's device, verso.

This inviting resort scene—lined with ambling beach-goers and dotted with colorful cabanas—is painted in a clamor of vibrant tones, illustrative light effects and an utter mastery of atmospheric representation. The Breton location was a popular one for French artists at this time. The beach and its habitants were immortalized by a number of other painters, such as the Symbolist Maurice Denis (1870—1943), as well as by Jules-Émile Zingg (1882—1942). In many ways reminiscent of the nuanced, sweeping beach scenes that appear in the oeuvre of the American Impressionist Edward Henry Potthast (1857—1927)—such as his now-iconic rendering of Coney Island (1914)—Along the Coast is an exemplar of Hassam's mature style, indicating the final influences of European modernism on his methodology. During this trip Hassam adopted a more abbreviated shorthand. The palettes from this time period are more bold, his shapes increasingly simplified, slightly abstracted, and his renderings more decorative. Vertical brushstrokes are juxtaposed with horizontal to indicate planes of distance and movement. Colors merge and blend to form a rich tapestry of pastels that underscore the warmth and vibrancy of Perros-Guirec on a warm summer day. Along the Coast is slated to be included in the upcoming catalogue raisonné of Hassam's work by Stuart P. Feld and Kathleen M. Burnside (as Perros-Guirec, Cotes du Nord, France).

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