Wednesday 30 January 2013

Ashcan School - Maurice Prendergast part 1

Maurice Brazil Prendergast (1858 – 1924) was born in Saint John's, Newfoundland, to a shopkeeper who moved the family to Boston in 1868. He left school after only eight or nine years and went to work for a commercial art firm. He never married and throughout his life was accompanied and supported by his brother Charles, a gifted craftsman and artist in his own right.

According to Charles, Maurice always wanted to be an artist and spent every available moment sketching. In 1892, Maurice travelled to Paris, where he spent three years. Studying first under Gustave Courtois at the Atelier Colorossi, he eventually moved on to the Académie Julian. There he met the Canadian painter James Wilson Morrice, under whose influence he began executing pochades, small sketches on wood panels depicting elegantly dressed women and playful children at the seaside resorts of Dieppe and Saint-Malo. Back in Paris, he developed a sophisticated modern style inspired in large part by the postimpressionists, particularly Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillard.

In 1895, home from abroad, Prendergast joined his brother in Winchester, Massachusetts. Working in watercolour, oil, and monotype, he continued to focus on men, women, and children at leisure, strolling in parks, on the beach, or travelling the city streets. In 1898 he went to Venice and returned a year later with a series of watercolours of the city. In 1900 the Macbeth Galleries in New York mounted an exhibition of his work.

In1907 he returned to France, where he was profoundly influenced by Cezanne and the Fauves. Integrating these new influences into his work, he painted more forceful works of art, with very bright colours and staccato brushstrokes. As one of "The Eight," he was sharply criticised for his more abstract and brightly coloured style.

Following another trip to Venice, in 1911-1912, he returned to New York to select works for and participate in the Armory Show of 1913. A year later he and Charles moved to New York. In 1915 he was given an exhibition at the Carroll Galleries. Although the critical reception was mixed. he was able to attract a number of important patrons.

During the final years of his career.he spent his summers sketching in New Engalns, and his winters painting in New York. In 1921 the Brummer Gallery in New York held a small retrospective exhibition of his work. By 1923 he was in frail health and died a year later at the age of 65.

This part 1 of a 7-part post on the works of Maurice Prendergast:

1888 Portrait of Maurice Prendergast's Father 
oil on canvas 39.7 x 35.6 cm

c1891-94 The Red Cape 
monotype on paper 40 x 27.9 cm

1891 Picking Flowers 
watercolour 17.8 x 12.7 cm

1892 La Porte San Denis 
watercolour 35.6 x 25.4 cm

1892 Low Tide, Afternoon, Treport 
pencil and watercolour 32.4 x 21.3 cm

1892 Treport Beach 
pencil and watercolour 21.9 x 30.8 cm

1892-4 Evening Shower, Paris 
oil on panel 31.7 x 47 cm

1892-94 Along the Seine 
oil on canvas 33 x 24.1 cm

c1892-94 Dieppe 
oil on canvas 12.2 x 9.5 cm

c1892-94 Figures on the Beach 
pencil and watercolour 25.4 x 17.8 cm

c1892-94 Sunday Morning, Paris 
oil on panel 23.8 x 15.6 cm

1893-94 Can-Can Dancer 
pencil and watercolour 21.6 x 14 cm

1893-94 Ladies Seated on a Bench 
pencil and watercolour 18.8 x 16.2 cm

1893 Paris Boulevard in the Rain 
pencil and watercolour 13 x 25.4 cm

1893-94 Ladies in the Rain 
pencil and watercolour 34.3 x 14.6 cm

c1893-94 In the Park 
pencil, ink and watercolour 27.3 x 11.4 cm

c1893-94 Side Show 
pencil and watercolour 26.7 x 19 cm

c1893-94 The Dancers 
pencil and watercolour 27.9 x 21 cm

c1893-94 Two Women in a Park 
pencil and watercolour 40 x 20.3 cm

1894 Small Fishing Boats, Treport, France 
watercolour 22.9 x 31.1 cm

1895 Figures on the Grass 
pencil and watercolour 24.4 x 34.3 cm

1895-7 Low Tide 
oil on panel 34.3 x 45.7 cm

c1895-1900 Horseback Riders 
monotype and pencil on paper 23.2 x 31.1 cm

1895 Three Little Girls in Red 
monotype 14.3 x 15.2 cm

c1895-7 Lady with a Red Sash 
oil on canvas 61 x 21 cm

c1895-97 City Point Bridge 
pencil, gouache and watercolour 48.6 x 38.7 cm

c1895-96 Sunset, Boston 
pastel on paper 50.8 x 27.9

c1895-97 Evening on a Pleasure Boat 
oil on canvas 14 x 22 cm

c1895-97 Jumping Rope 
monotype on paper 17.1 x 13.3 cm

c1895-97 The Race 
monotype on paper 20 x 22.9 cm

c1895-97 South Boston Pier 
pencil and watercolour 12.2 x 19.1

c1895 Charles Street, Boston 
pencil and watercolour 36.5 x 27.9 cm

c1895-97 The Pretty Ships 
oil on panel 34.9 x 34.3 cm

c1895 Circus Band 
monotype and pencil 31.3 x 23.8 cm

c1895 The Ocean Palace 
monotype 19 x 15.9 cm

c1895 Woman on Ship Deck, Looking out to Sea 
monotype on paper 15.9 x 10.5 cm

1896 Nantasket Beach  
pencil and watercolour 33.7 x 51.4 cm

1896 Children on a Raft 
pencil and watercolour 45.7 x 33.3 cm

1896 At the Park 
pencil and watercolour 35.6 x 52.7 cm

1896 Revere Beach 
pencil and watercolour 13.6 x 9.9 cm

1896 Revere Beach 
watercolour 25.4 x 35.6 cm

1896 Revere Beach 
pencil and watercolour 35.6 x 25.4 cm

1896 South Boston Pier 
pencil and watercolour 46.4 x 35.6 cm

1896 Summer Visitors 
pencil and watercolour 48.3 x 38.1 cm

c1896-7 Children at the Beach 
watercolour 35.6 x 25.4 cm

c1896-7 Float at Low Tide, Revere Beach 
watercolour 33.6 x 23.5 cm

c1896-97 Early Beach 
pencil and watercolour 34.3 x 31.1 cm

1896-97 Excursionists, Nahant 
pencil, watercolour and gouache 49.5 x 36 cm


  1. just found your informative blog looking for Prendergast and wanted to say thanks for sharing the pictures and info. couldn't find the announced other parts, am I asking too early ?
    gerrie aka the linosaurus blog

  2. Thank you. The other parts are listed in the side bar under February 2013.


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