CHASE, William Merritt
(b. 1849, Williamsburg, d. 1916, New York)


American painter. He studied in Indianapolis and in Munich under Piloty. In 1878 he began his long career as an influential teacher at the Art Students League of New York and later established his own summer school of landscape painting in the Shinnecock Hills on Long Island.

Chase was a prolific painter of portraits, interiors, still-lifes and landscapes, famed for establishing the fresh colour and bravura technique used in much early 20th-century American painting. Proficient in many media, he is best known for his spirited portraits and still-lifes in oil. His Carmencita, Lady in Black, and portrait of Whistler (all: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) and My Daughter Alice (Cleveland Museum of Art) are characteristic.

Chase is considered one of the most important American Impressionists, his work being close in style to that of the early French Impressionists. He was the most important American teacher of his time. He was president of the Society of American Artists for 10 years and a member of the National Academy of Design.

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