Chase, William Merritt


Chase, William Merritt
born Nov. 1, 1849, Williamsburg, Ind., U.S.
died Oct. 25, 1916, New York, N.Y

U.S. painter and teacher.

He studied in New York and for six years in Munich. Chase became the most important U.S. art teacher of his generation, first at New York's Art Students League and later at his own school, founded in 1896. His teachings, particularly his advocacy of fresh colour and bravura technique, greatly influenced the course of early 20th-century U.S. painting; among his students were Georgia O'Keeffe and Charles Demuth. As a painter, he was very prolific; his 2,000 paintings include portraits, interiors (e.g., In the Studio, 1880–83), figure studies, still lifes, and landscapes characterized by bold, spontaneous brushwork.

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▪ American painter

born Nov. 1, 1849, Williamsburg [now Nineveh], Ind., U.S.
died Oct. 25, 1916, New York, N.Y.
 painter and teacher, who helped establish the fresh colour and bravura technique of much early 20th-century American painting.

      Chase studied at the National Academy of Design in New York City and under Karl von Piloty for six years in Munich. He worked for a time in the grays and browns of the Munich school, but in the 1880s he took up a lighter palette, which was then popular in Paris.

      An extremely effective teacher, Chase taught many pupils, first at the Art Students League of New York and then at his own school in New York City. He is best known for his portraits and figure studies, his still lifes of dead fish, and his studio interiors—e.g., “In the Studio” (1880–83). His mature style is notable for its bold and spontaneous brushwork and other marks of virtuoso execution.

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Universalium. 2010.

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