- William Merritt Chase (American, 1849-1916)
William Merritt Chase championed the formation of distinctly realistic American art as well as the teaching of it. Known as an enthusiastic and energetic instructor, Chase taught many future artists such as Edward Hopper, Joseph Stella, Charles Demuth and Georgia O’Keeffe. He personified the eclecticism that was the foundation of the American art scene of the late nineteenth century.
Still Life is probably from the artist’s formative years of 1871 to 1878, which he spent with fellow artist Frank Duveneck at the Royal Academy in Munich, Germany, an institution that was then accepted as the focal point of art education in central Europe. Chase’s “Munich Style,” characterized by bold, vigorous brushstrokes, the wet-on-wet alla prima technique, and the warm brown tones reminiscent of Spanish and Dutch masters, is evident in the dark, neutrally toned, glossy surface of Still Life. The immediacy of highlights and reflections on each object are rendered with deftly applied strokes of paint.