Childe Hassam was an American painter known for capturing unique moments in Boston, New York, and New England countryside and coast in his impressionistic style. Hassam was extremely productive, having produced over 3,000 paintings in either oil or watercolour, etchings, and lithographs.
Childe Hassam was an American Impressionist painter. He spent much of his time on the east coast of the United States, painting city scenes and country scenes. Hassam had no formal training in the arts; he never attended an academy, making his work truly unique. He went on to paint with watercolours and capture scenes en plein air like the Parisian Impressionists, and eventually created illustrations for American magazines. In 1886, he moved to Paris for three years, where his brushwork became looser and his colour palette softer.
Childe Hassam is credited as being one of a handful of American Impressionists, bring the style to museums and dealers in the 1890s. He studied the works of the French Impressionists and became close friends with another American Impressionist, Theodore Robinson, who worked with Claude Monet in Giverny, France. Hassam and his eager Impressionist friends often studied the works of Monet, Edgar Degas, and Auguste Renoir together. He often travelled through New York City and painted the rapid movement of the industrialising city. Hassam was no stranger to painting scenes around him, and while he was living in Boston, Massachusetts, he often painted city scenes.
Childe Hassam’s artworks are known for their depiction of everyday life in the Impressionist style. He was part of The Ten, a group consisting of American painters who exhibited their work along the East Coast of the United States.
Poppies, Isles of Shoals is one of many of Hassam’s Impressionist beach scenes. This is one of the many landscape scenes Hassam painted while vacationing away from New York. Hassam regularly visited the Isles of Shoals, which consisted of nine small, rocky islands off the New Hampshire coast. His poet friend, Celia Thaxter, had a house on Appledore Island, providing the perfect spot for a summer getaway, possibly where he stayed when he painted Cliff Rock, Appledore (1903). Other seaside scenes Hassam captured include The Lorelei (1904),
Late in Hassam’s career, a huge source of inspiration came from the outbreak of World War I. The scenes on New York City streets were madly patriotic, filled with symbols and signs of patriotism. One example of these artworks is Flags on 57th Street, Winter 1918, where a mass of red, white, and blue flags can be seen flying through the city streets. Hassam captured the scene from his studio at 130 West 57th Street. Other patriotic paintings created during this time are Avenue of the Allies: Brazil, Belgium (1918) and Allies Day, May 1917 (1817).
After Hassam married Kathleen Maude Doane, the new family moved to Boston, where they took up an apartment in South End. During this time, Hassam painted many cist scenes, like Rainy Day, Columbus Avenue, Boston. His fascination with city life showed in his work at the time, which also experimented with perspective and the effects of weather and light on the atmosphere. This was one of the last paintings Hassam completed before his departure from the United States to Paris, France.