The Artist's Wife in a Garden, Villiers-le-Bel, 1889 by Childe Hassam

  • This monumental oil on canvas is the work of the great American painter Childe Hassam
  • Painted shortly after his marriage while in France, it depicts the artist’s greatest muse: his wife
  • The immersive painting exudes a quiet tranquility
  • Hassam is widely regarded as the foremost American Impressionist painter
  • Get complete item description here
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Childe Hassam
1859-1935 | American

The Artist's Wife in a Garden, Villiers-le-Bel

Signed and dated 1889
Oil on canvas

Painted during an extended stay in France following his marriage to his beloved muse Maude in 1884, Childe Hassam’s The Artist's Wife in a Garden, Villiers-le-Bel captures his new bride as she rests in a lush garden. She takes a seat in a shaded chair, an unskeined ball of yarn resting at her feet. The dappled sunshine of late afternoon stretches across the beds of flowers, which Hassam renders in loose splashes of red. Much like fellow Impressionists Monet and Renoir, Hassam’s attention to light and color captures the joie de vivre of life in the French countryside. The artist’s hazy brushstrokes and warm hues mirror the quiet serenity of the newlyweds’ romantic years abroad.

Born in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1859, Childe Hassam began his artistic career as a freelance illustrator for nationwide publications. Due to his undeniable talent, the artist enjoyed success during his lifetime as he traveled and studied internationally, most notably exhibiting at the Paris Salon, the Exposition Universelle, the International Art Exhibition in Munich and the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The present work has received great acclaim, exhibited widely nationally and internationally, from New York, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia to Brescia, Italy. Other paintings from the artist’s time in France reside in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Art Institute of Chicago among others, but few are as beautiful and tranquil as The Artist's Wife in a Garden, Villiers-le-Bel. Like all of Hassam's most beloved works, The Artist's Wife in a Garden, Villiers-le-Bel is an idyllic and intimate love letter to his wife and their early years together in France.

Painted 1889

Canvas: 31 3/4“ high x 51 1/4” wide
Frame: 47 1/4" high x 66 1/2" wide x 3 1/4" deep

Provenance:
John Nicholson Galleries, New York, before c. 1945;
Private Collection, Boston, c. 1945-1960;
Babcock Galleries, New York, 1960-1965;
Private Collection, Brookline, Massachusetts, 1965-1968;
Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York, 1968-1969;
Private Collection, New York, 1969 by family descent, 1993;
Private Collection;
Adelson Galleries, New York;
Avery Galleries, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania;
Private Collection, 2013;
Avery Galleries, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, 2017.
Private Collection, Philadelphia Main Line, Pennsylvania, 2021.
Freeman’s, Philadelphia, American Art and Pennsylvania Impressionists, June 6, 2022, lot 60, 2022.

Exhibitions:
New York, Babcock Galleries, Childe Hassam, 1960, no. 4, illustrated.
American Federation of the Arts, American Traditionalist Painters: 1865-1915, 1962-1963.
Washington, D.C., The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Childe Hassam: ARetrospective Exhibition, April 30-August 1, 1965, no. 12. Exhibition also traveled to Boston, Massachusetts, Museum of Fine Arts, August 17-September 19, 1965; Manchester, New Hampshire, The Currier Gallery of Art, September 28-October 31, 1965; New York, New York, The Gallery of Modern Art, November 16-December 19, 1965.
New York, Hirschl & Adler Galleries, The American Impressionists, November 12-30, 1968, p. 35, fig. 36, illustrated in black and white.
New York, Coe Kerr Gallery, The American Painting Collection of Mrs. Norman B. Woolworth, November, 1970, no. 39, illustrated.
Palm Springs, California, Palm Springs Desert Museum, 100 Years of American Art, January-March 1979.New York, Adelson Galleries, The American Impressionists, November 15-December 21, 1996, fig. 22, illustrated in color.
New York, Adelson Galleries, Childe Hassam: An American Impressionist, November 2- December 15, 1999, fig. 15, illustrated in color. Exhibition also traveled to Houston, Texas, Meredith Long & Company, January 11-February 5, 2000 (only exhibited in Houston).
Museo di Santa Giulia, Brescia, Italy, America! Storie di pittura dal Nuovo Mondo, November 24th, 2007 – May 4, 2008, catalogue ed. by Marco Goldin, cat. no. 100, p. 468, illustrated in color, fig. 193, p. 396.Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, The Artist's Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement, 1887-1920, February 12- May 24, 2015. Exhibition also traveled to Chrysler Museum of Art, June 16-September 6, 2015; Reynolds House Museum of American Art, October 1, 2015-January 3, 2016.

Literature:
Hoopes, Donelson F. Childe Hassam. New York and Canada: Watson-Guptill Publications, 1979, pp. 32-33, pl. 6, illustrated in color, p. 33.
Childe Hassam in Indiana, November 3-December 8, 1985, (exh. cat.), Indiana: Ball State University Art Gallery, cited p. 29.
Broude, Norma, ed. World Impressionism: The International Movement 1860-1920. New York: Abrams, 1994, p. 57, no. 60, illustrated.
Adelson, Warren, Jay E. Cantor and William H. Gerdts. Childe Hassam: Impressionist, New York: Abbeville Press, 1999, illustrated in color, p. 172, plate 179, p. 26, plate 23 (detail), cited p. 27.
Davis, Deborah. Lowy: The Secret Lives of Frames, 100 Years of Art and Artistry (New York: Filipacchi Publishing, 2007), illus. in color, p. 111.
Marley, Anna O. The Artist's Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement, 1887-1920. Philadelphia: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts,2015, p. 131, plate 3.
Marley, Anna O. "American Impressionism and the Garden Movement." American Art Review, vol. 27, no. 2 (March-April 2015), p. 73.
Balestrieri, James D. "The Artist's Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts." American Fine Art Magazine, Issue 19 (January-February 2015), pp. 52-53.
The Artist's Wife in a Garden, Villiers-le-Bel, 1889 by Childe Hassam
Maker: Hassam, Childe
Period: 1919-Present
Origin: America
Type: Paintings
Depth: 3.25 Inches
Width: 66.5 Inches
Height: 47.25 Inches
Style: Impressionism
Canvas Width: 51.25 Inches
Canvas Height: 31.75 Inches

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