William Glackens (1870–1938), Summer Landscape Posted on July 21st, 2014 by

Summer LandscapeWilliam Glackens (1870–1938)
Summer Landscape (Bellport, Long Island), c. 1911–16
Oil on wood panel, 8 x 6 inches
Gift of the Reverend Richard L. Hillstrom

This painting dates from the years that Glackens and his family spent their summers in New York’s coastal town of Bellport. Many artists of this period escaped the summer heat of New York City by going to locations like Bellport, though continuing to draw on the City as a frequent subject for their art, working there in the cooler months. This work is a leisurely scene of a warm, summer day. A young girl, in bright, light clothing befitting the season, strolls about the rocks at the shore, lost in thought and enjoying the sunny solitude. Although the painting’s size suggests it may have been a study for a larger work, it is well developed in its Impressionistic imagery. The colors are dabbed on the surface, allowing the eyes to do the mixing. Verdant greens at the shore, and in the trees beyond, contrast with the cooler tones of gray, blue, and violet of the sea, the lapping wavelets of which are touched in by the artist with orange. The influence of French Impressionism in Glackens’s art is apparent, and his style is particularly reflective of the celebrated Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919), whose works Glackens both studied and, for his patron the collector Albert Barnes, bought. These works by Renoir later became part of the Barnes Foundation collection in Pennsylvania, one of the earliest and most important holdings of French Impressionism and Post-Impressionism in America.

Text from the catalogue for the exhibition The Eight, The Ashcan School, and The American Scene in the Hillstrom Collection, presented in the Hillstrom Museum of Art February 25 through April 21, 2013.


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