CHILDE HASSAM (1859-1935)
CHILDE HASSAM (1859-1935)
CHILDE HASSAM (1859-1935)
CHILDE HASSAM (1859-1935)
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Property from the Estate of Mary Radcliffe 
CHILDE HASSAM (1859-1935)

Spanish Ledges

Details
CHILDE HASSAM (1859-1935)
Spanish Ledges
signed with artist's crescent device and dated 'Childe Hassam/1912' (lower left)—signed with initials 'C.H.' and dated again (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
22 x 24 in. (55.9 x 61 cm.)
Painted in 1912.
Provenance
IBM Corporation, New York.
Kennedy Galleries, Inc., New York, acquired from the above, 1968.
Mr. Richard Manoogian, Grosse Point, Michigan, acquired from the above, 1968.
Sotheby Parke-Bernet, New York, 29 May 1981, lot 32, sold by the above.
Acquired by the late owner from the above.
Literature
D. Curry, Childe Hassam: An Island Garden Revisited, Denver, Colorado, 1990, pp. 152, 154, 207, fig. 3.31, illustrated.
Exhibited
Boston, Massachusetts, Copley Gallery, Pictures by Childe Hassam, December 9-21, 1912, no. 8.
Portland, Oregon, Portland Art Association, Pictures by Childe Hassam, 1914, no. 8 (as The Spanish Ledges, Isles of Shoals).
Post lot text
This painting will be included in Stuart P. Feld’s and Kathleen M. Burnside’s forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist’s work.

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Caroline Seabolt
Caroline Seabolt Associate Specialist, Head of Sale

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Lot Essay

After three years of study in Paris, Childe Hassam ventured in 1889 to the remote island of Appledore nestled among the Isles of Shoals off the coast of Maine and New Hampshire. Hassam was lured to the island by the poetess and avid gardener, Celia Thaxter, who had established an informal salon composed of distinguished writers, musicians and artists. Hassam discovered in Thaxter a unique and engaging spirit, a presence that invoked in him a sense of freedom, exhilaration and imagination. In addition to his paintings capturing Thaxter's famous garden, the rambling, rocky coastline of Appledore inspired a series of works that are among Hassam's foremost achievements in Impressionism.

Spanish Ledges illustrates Hassam's unending fascination with the beautifully tranquil and remote shoreline of this island, capturing on canvas brilliant light and jewel-like color that are trademarks of his finest works. The rocks of Appledore were a great attraction to any island visitor, whether tourist or artist. Thaxter herself found the island's shoreline breathtaking with "rifts and chasms, and roughly piled gorges, and square quarries of stone, and stairways cut as if by human hands. The trap rock, softer than granite, is worn away in many places, leaving the bare perpendicular wall fifteen to twenty feet high..." (as quoted in D.P. Curry, Childe Hassam: An Island Garden Revisted, New York, 1990, p. 156)

Captivated by this scenery, Hassam ventured to the rocky edges of the island to create unique seaside vistas such as Spanish Ledges. “Appledore was a place where the imagination could flourish. Inspired by impressions of the parlor’s cultured atmosphere, the garden’s brilliant color, and the landscape’s wild beauty, Hassam executed some of his most successful works at the Isles of Shoals…The finest Shoals images, created between 1890 and 1912, coincide with the full flowering of Hassam’s powers as a painter.” (D.P. Curry, Childe Hassam: An Island Garden Revisited, New York, 1990, p. 14)

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