The Passing of Summer

Harry W. Watrous American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774

When the Metropolitan Museum acquired this painting just after it was completed, the artist explained that in the autumn of 1911 he had observed a woman seated alone at a table in a French restaurant. Watrous asked her, "Well, has Prince Charming appeared?" Her melancholy answer was "No, and this is the passing of summer." This work thus alludes to the fleeting nature of youth and beauty and the loss of opportunity. About 1905 the artist's eyesight began to fail, and he shifted from exquisitely rendered, tiny genre scenes recalling seventeenth-century Dutch paintings to larger canvases containing idealized female figures, such as "The Passing of Summer".

The Passing of Summer, Harry W. Watrous (American, San Francisco, California 1857–1940 New York), Oil on canvas, American

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