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Chase painted Seaside Flowers in Shinnecock, Long Island, where he taught art during the summer from 1892 to 1902. Chase encouraged his students to find beauty in landscapes that at first glance seem unremarkable, which he has done here. By breaking up the swath of scrubby bushes and grass with a diagonal slice of sea on the left and dirt path on the right, the artist enlivened a section of typical Long Island shoreline.

The figures include Chase’s wife, four of his daughters, whom he often painted, and an unknown boy, so the painting can be understood as a happy memento of summer vacation. However, the artist also used the people as compositional elements to add visual interest. He distributed them across the canvas in groups of one, two, and three, and their white clothes and verticality contrast with the green and blue horizontal bands of earth and sky.

Details

  • Title: Seaside Flowers
  • Creator: William Merritt Chase
  • Date Created: 1897
  • Physical Dimensions: 29 x 38 1/2 in. (73.7 x 97.8 cm)
  • Provenance: Peter A. Schemm [1852-1909], Philadelphia, PA, after 1898; (American Art Association, New York, NY), March 14-17, 1911, lot 275; purchased by W. L. Austin, 1911; Private Collection, FL, before 1936; by descent in the family, until 1983; (Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, NM), 1983; Private Collection, Greenwich, CT, 1983; (Sotheby's, New York, NY), December 1, 1994, lot 16; purchased by Private Collection, 1994; (Sotheby's, Inc., New York, NY); purchased by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville AR, 2006
  • Subject Keywords: landscapes, children, boys, girls, sisters
  • Rights: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas., Photography by Dwight Primiano.
  • External Link: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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