William Merritt Chase’s Fish, Plate, and Copper Container
William Merritt Chase’s Fish, Plate, and Copper Container is featured in the publication of the museum’s highlights One Hundred Stories. The painting is on view in the Smith Gallery, along with magnificent examples of 18th and 19th century American Art from the museum’s permanent collection.
William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) was one of the most renowned and multifaceted artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. With a bold, and exacting style, Chase artfully captured the essence of the world around him through rich landscape paintings, intimate portraits, and carefully composed still lifes. This summer, in honor of the centennial of Chase’s death, and as a complement to the retrospective exhibition currently on view at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts is pleased to highlight its own magnificent still life by William Merrit Chase, Fish, Plate, and Copper Container, painted around 1900.
Born in Indiana and trained in New York and Munich, Chase quickly developed his signature style of bold brushstrokes and a darker palette. Painted in warm browns and reds, with highlights of shimmering gold and silver, Fish, Plate, and Copper Container is a classic example of a “kitchen picture” by the artist. Chase often finished his still life paintings of fish within two hours, working quickly, in the Dutch still life tradition, to capture the color of the fish scales before they faded. The inclusion of a gleaming copper kettle and glazed ceramic plates contrast vividly with the soft flesh and organic forms of the fish.