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A Host of Golden Daffodils

before 1927

Dallas Museum of Art

Dallas Museum of Art

The complex surface of this portrait is due to Charles Webster Hawthorne’s experimentation with technique.The artist mixed varnish directly into the oil paint in between applications of glazes, which resulted in a textured, mottled surface that adds to the ethereal nature of this idealized portrait. This process, however, threatens the stability and appearance of the painting over time.

A devoted pupil and studio assistant of William Merritt Chase, Hawthorne founded his own summer art program in Provincetown, Massachusetts, in the early 20th century. He became one of the leading painters in the famed artists’ colony, known particularly for his portraits of the fishermen along Cape Cod.

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