Property from The Estate of David & Sol Blumenthal, Atlanta, Georgia
Childe Hassam (American, 1859-1935)
Land's End, Coast of Maine signed 'Childe Hassam' (lower right) oil on canvas 18 x 22in Painted circa 1900
PROVENANCE: with Vose Galleries, Boston, Massachusetts Mr. Dwight A. Symmes, 1959 with Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York, 1968 Mr. Sy Lemler, New York, acquired from the above, 1969 Sale, Parke-Bernet, New York, 28 October 1971, lot 120 with Trosby Galleries, Palm Beach, Florida Acquired by the present owners from the above, by 1986
EXHIBITED: New York, New York Society for Ethical Culture and The Fieldston Ethical Alumni Association, First Annual Art Exhibition and Sale, circa 1960s, p. 4. New York, Hirschl & Adler Galleries, The American Impressionists, November 12-30, 1968, no. 38, p. 36, illustrated (as Isles of Shoals (Land's End, Coast of Maine)). New York, Bernard Danenberg Galleries, One Hundred Recent Acquisitions by American Artists, Spring-Summer 1969, p. 20, no. 35, illustrated.
This painting will be included in Stuart P. Feld's and Kathleen M. Burnside's forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist's works.
After several years abroad, Childe Hassam returned to the United States in 1889 and settled in New York City. His presence in New York allowed him to paint the urban environment while also accessing the major art organizations. In the warmer seasons, Hassam would leave the city in search of rural subjects along the New England Coast regularly stopping to stay with his friend, Celia Thaxter, who owned a hotel on Appledore Island, Isles of Shoals. An artistic haven, Thaxter entertained many artists, writers and creative types constructing an open invitation for those enthralled and inspired by the nearby landscape and gardens. Hassam would visit Thaxter and the surrounding coastline for more than thirty years, capturing the vivid colors and atmospheric effects of the surrounding environment of which Land's End, Coast of Maine is a result.
Land's End, Coast of Maine, characterizes Hassam's exceptional talent in rendering the fleeting effects of light and shadow through his looseness of brushstroke and intricate palette. The present work, which was painted circa 1900, embodies Hassam's impressionistic style of highly energized strokes, free application of paint, and a wide array of hues to embody the natural effects of the surrounding atmosphere. His extensive understanding of color is evident in the multitude of pigments he incorporated in a balanced and rhythmic manner. The landscape, which appears to be that of Appledore Island, Isles of Shoals, draws the viewer's attention backward with each mound of colorful land to eventually reach the stretching coastline receding in the distance. The beauty and tranquility of this space is only interrupted by a sailboat in the distance which glides gracefully across the canvas.
The complexity of the images is found in its texture and color. The highly texturized surface renders a somewhat abstracted view of the landscape with its complex array of colors and pigments. Hassam's palette in Land's End, Coast of Maine is mildly reminiscent of his earlier Tonalist works, containing more neutral colors, yet these tones are complimented by speckled highlights of pink, purple and yellow which dance across the land formations. The upper register depicts a cool, bluish hue, which recalls New England's typical morning haze as sunlight struggles to break through.
Hassam considered painting a highly personal experience in which he aimed to truthfully capture the essence of the nature that surrounded him. He is quoted as saying "I believe the man who will go down to posterity is the man who paints his own time and the scenes of every-day life around him...A true historical painter, it seems to me, is one who paints the life he sees about him, and so makes a record of his own epoch." (B. Weinberg, Childe Hassam: American Impressionist, 2004, p. 7) Hassam followed this principle throughout his life, genuinely recording the nature that surrounded him.