CHILDE HASSAM | PROMENADE - WINTER, NEW YORK
Property from a Pennsylvania Collection
1859 - 1935
PROMENADE - WINTER, NEW YORK
signed Childe Hassam and dated 1895 (lower left)
oil on canvas
10 by 14 inches
(25.4 by 35.6 cm)
This painting will be included in Kathleen M. Burnside and Stuart P. Feld's forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist's work.
Private collection (sold: Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., New York, January 19, 1939, lot 21)
Macbeth Gallery, New York (acquired at the above sale)
Mrs. Ruth Woods Dayton, West Virginia, 1939
Daywood Art Gallery, Lewisburg, West Virginia (gift from the above)
Hirschl & Adler Galleries, Inc., New York, 1963
Private collection, Beverly Hills, California, 1963
Spanierman Gallery, New York, 1987
Private collection, Los Angeles, California (acquired from the above; sold: Sotheby's, New York, May 23, 2007, lot 74)
Acquired by the present owner at the above sale
In December 1889, after returning home from a three-year stay in Paris, Childe Hassam left his hometown of Boston, where he had previously established himself as an artist and settled with his wife in New York City, considered at that time to be America’s burgeoning artistic and cultural epicenter. "To me it is the most wonderful and most beautiful city in the world," Hassam exclaimed of Manhattan, continuing, "All life is in it...no street, no section of Paris or any other city I have seen is equal to New York" (Barbara Weinberg, Childe Hassam: American Impressionist, New York, 2004, p. 87). Fascinated by the energy and unique character of the bustling metropolis, Hassam utilized the city’s streets, parks, and people as subjects for his oil paintings, watercolors, and pastels. As Barbara Weinberg notes, "Using the candid compositions, rapid strokes, and varied palettes with which he had experimented in Boston and Paris, Hassam would produce unprecedented impressions of the city's thoroughfares, parks, and skylines" (Weinberg, p. 87). Almost immediately, Hassam received acclaim for his exceptional New York scenes; he was described by a leading critic of the day as a "street painter par excellence."
Painted in 1895, Promenade – Winter, New York depicts an elegant woman navigating a Manhattan sidewalk on a blustery and grey wintry day. The work references both the restrained color palette of similar tones found in Hassam's earlier Boston scenes as well as the diagonal, expansive compositions found in his Parisian cityscapes. All contours are softened and details are minimized, rendered with dashes of brushstrokes that evoke the haziness of snowy and icy winter weather, and the figures and structures toward the background appear as silhouettes against a foggy, atmospheric sky. The cool tones of blue-black and muted purple provide dynamic contrasts to the snow-covered sidewalk composed with lively strokes of white pigment. This expressive application of paint helps to emphasize further the sense of active motion the artist strives to convey in almost all his portrayals of city life.