Bath Beach: a sketch (Bensonhurst), ca. 1887
William Merritt Chase
1961.5.24 Parrish Art Museum
Image courtesy of Parrish Art Museum (see more works by Chase by clicking here and on the artist's name)
A painting that caught my eye as I flipped through a volume of the catalogue raisonne of American Impressionist, William Merritt Chase. I may have mentioned this before, but my American Art history knowledge is not remotely up to par, and while I know of Chase, I don't think I could have connected him directly with his painting until now (time spent merging records ends up equaling time looking through books :). His work is quite pretty (one of the reasons I shied away from American art and Impressionism so long is that I didn't see much else in it than that) but I seem to be attracted more to the works that have stronger, richer color, I'm a sucker for green grass, though not necessarily bright (see Feeding the Pigeons, love it) color. The perspective of Bath Beach also draws my attention, while we cannot see any detail in the figures (his wife and daughter) they remain a focus of attention as the promenade path leads our eye to them, the grass and water frame them, the man on the bench is blurred the trees hover over them and the other significant object is in close proximity to them (the canon), keeping our attention centered.