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William Merritt Chase
(Nineveh, IN, 1849 - 1916, New York City, NY)
Chase was born in Indian as the oldest of six children. After his education at both the Indianapolis ad New York National Academies of design, he was invited to study in Europe. He decided to work in Munich, rather than Paris because he thought the German city would be less distracting. He studied at the Munich Academy, but his style had more flashy brushwork and evidence that he was attracted to the painterly realism of older Masters, including Rubens and Hals.
Chase returned to New York and began teaching at the recently founded Art Student’s League. He traveled back to Europe may ties throughout his life, for networking and the viewing of exhibitions and collections. He infused the inspiration of New York and modern life into his part scenes that he painted between the years 1886-1890. He married Alice Gerson, and oved to his parents’ house in Brooklyn. The depictions of public settings, such as parks, allowed Chase to respond to the examples of painters he admired. These parks were arrangements of eye pleasing elements and composite views of nature and the contents thereof.
Though he was a successful impressionist, he never abandoned references to tradition, especially considering still lifes and portraits. He often painted his students as “samples” which he then displayed widely and donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
He died in New York in 1916. He is a great example of the culmination of modern characteristics meeting and cohesively existing in artworks echoing the traditions of masters.