Still Life with Fish (Primary Title)

William Merritt Chase, American, 1849 - 1916 (Artist)

ca. 1910
oil on canvas
United States
Unframed: 28 1/2 × 41 1/2 in. (72.39 × 105.41 cm)
Not on view
Chase’s brightly colored impressionist landscapes and richly costumed portraits are well known today, but his less-recognized fish still lifes were among the most challenging subjects of his career. Drawing on examples of several centuries from Holland and France, he managed to create powerful works that reflect the art world’s general turn from genteel beauty toward darker, tougher topics in the early 20th century. In 1909 a critic for International Studio noted that Chase’s fish had long been considered by his fellow painters as “among the best of nature morte [still life] performances of modern men.” Chase himself speculated, “It may be that I am remembered as a painter of fish.”
signed, lower left: "Wm. M. Chase"
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John McGuigan and the J. Harwood and Louise B. Cochrane Fund for American Art
Hartford, CT, Wadsworth Atheneum, 1938
Birmingham, AL, Birmingham Museum of Art, 1951
East Lansing, MI, Michigan State U. 1966
O’Leary, Elizabeth L., Sylvia Yount, Susan Jensen Rawles, and David Park Curry. American Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Charlottesville: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts with the University of Virginia Press, 2010. (No. 110, p. 324-327).

Roy Proctor, “Museum Purchases Greek Bronze, Paintings,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, Sunday, October 1, 2000, color ill. p. H-3.

"Checklist of Known Work by William M. Chase" in Chase Centennial Exhibition (exh. cat., John Herron Art Museum), Indianapolis, Indiana, 1949).
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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