Along the Seine, Winter
Childe Hassam ( American, 1859 - 1935 )
The wide-angle view of a city street was an early and long standing subject for Childe Hassam. Carriages, particularly horse-drawn cabs for hire, attracted the artist's attention starting in 1885 when he depicted a Boston thoroughfare during a rain shower. The snowy scene was painted in Paris, where Hassam lived from 1886 to 1889 while taking classes at the Acadêmie Julian. In a letter dated January 1887, around the same time he created Along the Seine, Winter, Hassam concluded "I have unquestionable arrived at my selection of subjects." This same year, he received positive reviews for a large painting of carriages queued at a cab station shown at the annual Salon.
The influence of French Impressionism is apparent in both his selection of subject and technique. In this and other works from the late 1880s, Hassam focused on Parisian daily life and atmospheric effects. The dark forms of a horse and buggy are surrounded by the nearly monochromatic environment of gray-brown sky, river, wall, and roadway. Brushstrokes remain visible, and the thick paint application along the lower edge enhances the suggestion of piled snow.
Emily Schiller, DMA label text
- Childe Hassam, Biography
Learn more about Childe Hassam at the Phillips Collection.