Artwork Details

Childe Hassam


Summer Sea
Oil on canvas
19 1/2 x 29 1/2 inches
Not on view
Accession Number
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Hyman J. Bylan

About the Artwork

Summer Sea is a painting of Isles of Shoals in which Childe Hassam captures the sparkle of vivid blues and whites across the ocean surface. Beginning in 1890 Hassam traveled each summer to this group of nine islands located ten miles off the New Hampshire and Maine coasts. Celia Thaxter, a poet and long-time friend of Hassam, ran Appledore House, a summer resort on the largest island of the area, named Appledore. She encouraged Hassam’s first visit to the Isles, and he continued to return to the wild and rugged area until 1916, completing over 400 paintings, watercolors, pastels, drawings and prints. In contrast to the approach of Monet and other French Impressionists who painted multiple canvases of one subject in varying conditions of light, Hassam delighted in painting the sea and rocks in the mid-day light.

Childe Hassam was a leader among the first generation of American Impressionist painters. After studying in Boston and Paris, he settled in New York and in 1898 became a member of a group of American Impressionists known as The Ten. Hassam strongly identified with his American roots and his sense of patriotism continually led him back to his local landscapes.