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Woodland Bathers

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Woodland Bathers

19 1/2 x 26 1/2 in. (49.5 x 67.3 cm)

Maurice Prendergast
American (St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada, 1858 - 1924, New York, NY)

Object Type: Painting
Medium and Support: Oil on canvas mounted on board
Credit Line: Marion Stratton Gould Fund
Accession Number: 1963.29
Location: Currently on view
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Despite many differences in style and subject matter, Maurice Prendergast exhibited with the Urban Realist artists in the beginning of the century. His style of breaking up the surface of his paintings with color and light was a shock to American viewers. An art critic wrote in 1908, “Hung in a group, these canvases of Mr. Prendergast look… like an explosion in a color factory.”
[Gallery label text, 2007]

Prendergast looked to European artists for his inspiration. One of the most modern painters working in America in the first decade of the century, his colors were often applied in post-impressionist daubs, like Seurat, and the space in his works was compressed and unrealistic.

Like Glackens, he enjoyed painting scenes of leisure, particularly bathing scenes like this one. He exhibited in the 1908 Macbeth Gallery show, along with Henri and the others, and while his work had little in common with many of the members of The Eight, he was as interested as they were in defying the conventions that had been established by the National Academy.

[Gallery label text, 2003]

Signed, lower right: Prendergast

Bequeathed to the artist's brother Charles Prendergast in 1924; to his wife, Mrs. Eugénie Prendergast, Westport, CT in 1948; purchased by the Gallery in 1963

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Web Links See links to web pages and lesson plans
Seeing America Inservice Materials from a teacher in-service presentation Spring 2008
Seeing America Chapter on Maurice Prendergast's paintings The Ships and Woodland Bathers, written by Gwendolyn Owens.

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