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Showing posts from January, 2014

DeCamp, a Musical Painter

The Blue Cup, 1909

Born on November 5, 1858, Joseph Rodefer DeCamp was an American Impressionist painter from Cincinnati, Ohio. As one of the founders of the Ten American Painters, which included Childe Hassam, DeCamp painted portraiture, figures and landscapes throughout its twenty year span in Boston. And although DeCamp painted various subjects during his career I find his recurring theme of women as musicians and figures bathed in window-light quite intriguing for their mysterious, poetic quality.

Look at The Blue Cup above, at how simple it is, yet mesmerizing. DeCamp utilizes a blend of warm and cool colors for the wall behind her, and note the intensity and temperature change in her apron from how the light falls upon it from the top to the bottom. I like how the larger, more elaborate chinaware on the table beside her, complete with subtle reflections, are not the focal point despite their considerable attention to detail. Her facial expression denotes a simple delight in this…

The American Impressionist

Boston Common at Twilight, 1886

Born on October 17, 1859 in Boston, Massachusetts, Frederick Childe Hassam was an American Impressionist painter and member of the Ten American Painters. At a period in time when America was redefining itself decades after the civil war and travelling to Europe, artists and collectors became inspired by the loose brushwork and mood of this new contemporary style. Many French Impressionists were social critics making sharp statements of the change in society from agriculture to industrialization, seeking a more pure environment of an unpolluted countryside. Hassam found his niche in depicting the modern urban streets of Paris, Boston and New York, paying particular attention not only to light and color but season and mood. Hassam loved nature also, and his works reflect a fascination with texture and color, emphasizing the tangible qualities of water, grass and worn architecture. However, he also painted people, and with a keen eye that is reminiscent of…