HALE, Philip Leslie
(b. 1865, Boston, d. 1931, Boston)

The Crimson Rambler

Oil on canvas, 64 x 77 cm
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia

1890s Impressionist art in Boston was primarily concerned with figure painting, and focused on society ladies in appropriate settings. Edmund Tarbell was one of the first to take this direction. His compositions of the 1890s, showing stylish ladies at leisure out of doors. The choice of theme was mainly responsible for Tarbell's popularity with affluent collectors in Boston. His influence and reputation were also consolidated by years of teaching at the Boston Museum School. People even talked of Tarbellites - that is other Bostonian figure painters whose technique and approach to their subject-matter betrayed an affinity with his presiding spirit.

Philip Leslie Hale was seen as one of the Tarbellites. Though he was not one of The Ten, he was closely associated with its member. He bought to Boston figure painting an idiosyncratic variant of the genre that betrayed the influence of Neo-Impressionism. More than his American contemporaries, he tended to dissolve the outlines of white-clad figures, merging them into their settings through a hazy mesh of delicate, pale colours, for preference yellow - as in The Crimson Rambler.