During an 1886-89 stay in Paris, this Boston painter experimented with working in oils outdoors. He gradually abandoned the dark-toned palette of the Barbizon masters for the brighter colors of the French Impressionists. Hassam named this study of a nude model, painted as if posed on a cliff, after the siren in the German poet Heinrich Heine's "Die Lorelei" (1827). In the poem, the Lorelei, a water spirit dwelling in the treacherous rocks along the Rhine River, lures ships to their destruction with her tantalizing singing:

Night falls as I linger, dreaming,
And calmly flows the Rhine;
The Peaks of the mountains gleaming
In the golden sunset shine.

A wondrous lovely maiden
Sits high in glory there;
Her robe with gems is laden,
And she combs out her golden hair.


  • Title: The Lorelei
  • Creator: Childe Hassam (American, 1859-1935)
  • Date Created: 1904
  • External Link: For more information about this and thousands of other works of art in the Walters Art Museum collection, please visit art.thewalters.org
  • Roles: Artist: Childe Hassam (American, 1859-1935)
  • Provenance: Purchased by Henry Walters, Baltimore, possibly 1905 [1]; by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 1931. [1] this painting was possibly acquired at the National Academy of Design exhibition of 1905, where it won the Thomas B. Clarke Prize
  • Object Type: oil paintings
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Inscriptions: [Signature] Lower right: Childe Hassam; [Date] Lower right: 1904
  • Exhibitions: The Walters' American Collection. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2005-2006.
  • Dimensions: H: 25 1/8 x W: 21 1/16 in. (63.8 x 53.5 cm)
  • Credit Line: Acquired by Henry Walters, 1905 (?)
  • Classification: Painting & Drawing
  • Accession Number: 37.31

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