Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Common

Boston Common at Twilight, 1885-86
Childe Hassam image and location: MFA Boston
A comment on yesterday's image of Paris made me think about other city scenes. One of the first to come to mind is a painting and artist that I discovered on my first trip to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston soon after I moved there in 2000. Always surprised at the time to be attracted to 19th c. American art (it continues to become more common), let alone Impressionism, this is a painting I return to on every visit. Hassam was a native of Boston, eventually spending some years in Paris and then settling in New York. He focused much of his creative energy on these cities in his paintings, many of the scenes taking place in the winter. A city I love, a season I love in a beautiful painting. This view of Boston Common comes off as nostalgic yet focuses on the modernization of this area of the common, with the trolleys and buildings in view.

I highly recommend seeking it out the next time you are in Boston, the MFA is a wonderful museum. (Check out the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum down the road while you are there!)

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