Saturday, August 16, 2014
Childe Hassam, Along the Seine
Frederick Childe Hassam (1859-1935) was an American Impressionist painter who, like Mary Cassatt, was instrumental in generating American interest in Impressionist art. Although Hassam lived in the United States, he traveled extensively in Europe and painted this work during a trip to France. To me this painting is all about the limited palette. The snow-covered ground, the river, and the sky, with their range of white to yellow, blend together to set the scene. With the addition of the grey wall, the coachman's white cloak and hat, and the skillfully placed plume of pale smoke, the whole work gives a monochromatic impression. With this technique, Hassam conveys the quiet stillness of the scene and I can almost feel the crisp, cold air of this winter day.