“Still Life with Fruit and Copper Pot” by William Merritt Chase pays homage to the old masters the artist admired.
Studies at Munich’s Royal Academy influenced Chase's bold brushwork, subtle lighting, and deep, lush colors. Attentive to artistic trends, Chase (1849 – 1916) was an American Impressionist who rejected the French Impressionists’ focus on light, concerning himself with subject matter. He also believed that how he painted was more important than what he painted. An advocate of art’s purity, Chase avoided romantic or sentimental portrayals of his subjects. In addition to being a widely respected painter, Chase was also an esteemed art teacher.
An American leader of Impressionist landscape painting, William Merritt Chase (1849 – 1916) was also a brilliant portrait and still-life artist. The leader of several artistic societies, he taught future icons Georgia O’Keefe, Edward Hopper and Rockwell Kent. Chase was a trendsetter who introduced European styles to American artists. A master of mimicking rich oil paints with pastels, he could expertly paint numerous subjects. Chase’s contemporary Impressionist works significantly impacted the acceptance of modern styles in late 19th-century America.