Addison Thomas Millar (1860-1913)

  • Millar, Addison T._Seascape.jpg
  • Seascape
  • Mixed media on paper
  • Signed lower left

This seascape pastel is most likely from Millar's time in Southampton. Pastel as a medium was largely a nineteenth-century phenomenon, perhaps incited by James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s (1834-1903) brief but popular series of pastels that he executed around 1880. Chase himself was an avid practitioner of the medium—indeed, pastel played an influential role in his body of work—and he was a co-founder of the progressive Society of American Painters in Pastel that formed in 1885. In this pastel, Millar is experimenting with Chase’s pastel medium, depicting the breaking waves of one of Southampton’s beaches. Millar’s cool tones suggest early morning, the seagulls diving in and out of the water in search of breakfast before the intrusion of human beach-goers. Millar exhibits a high level of maturity as a young artist in this pastel, successfully communicating the melancholy mood of a quiet morning shore as well as a mastery of a relatively new medium.

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