Maurice Prendergast (1858–1924), Cottage at Dinard

Posted on July 22nd, 2014 by

Cottage at DinardMaurice Prendergast (1858–1924)
Cottage at Dinard, 1891
Watercolor over graphite on paper, 11 3⁄4 x 7 1⁄4 inches
Gift of the Reverend Richard L. Hillstrom

Prendergast was the oldest of The Eight and his characteristic patterned, decorative images of people enjoying their leisure, which were influenced by French Post Impressionist artists such as Pierre Bonnard (1867–1947) and Édouard Vuillard (1868–1940), date from later in his career than this image of a cottage, which nevertheless suggests the artist’s later approach in its decorative handling of imagery and color. The artist studied in France from 1891 to 1895, and he made numerous images in watercolor, the medium for which he was perhaps best known, of seaside towns in that country. This superb work was painted by Prendergast in the coastal resort town of Dinard in Brittany in the northwest part of France. It has been suggested that it may have been a page from one of his sketchbooks. The image is sensitively rendered and has general similarities to a slightly larger oil painting Prendergast also painted in Dinard in 1891, which was sold at auction in 1999 and depicts a group of women seated at the beach, protected from the sun by large parasols. A later work done in Dinard around 1914, Quai, Dinard, is much more stylized in its approach, indicative of the direction in which the artist’s style turned in the following years. This watercolor was kept by Prendergast for himself and was inherited by his younger brother Charles, also an artist and a master framemaker, who, according to dealer Antoinette Kraushaar, made the frame for this work. Cottage at Dinard was part of a donation in May of 2012 of some of the last remaining works in Richard Hillstrom’s home, works that included many of his favorites. This painting is the last work by the members of The Eight to be donated to the Museum by Hillstrom.

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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