William M. Chase, N. A.

John Singer Sargent American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 771

A distinguished American portraitist also known for his Impressionist landscapes, William Merritt Chase (1849–1916) was a dominant figure in the New York art scene. He was highly influential as a teacher and a group of his students commissioned this portrait in tribute for the Metropolitan Museum. Chase carefully cultivated his persona as a sophisticated, yet bohemian artist. He arrived at Sargent's studio wearing a top hat and frock coat saying he was prepared to sit "either as an artist or a gentleman." Sargent instructed him to get "into his working rags" and portrayed him emerging from a dark background. Wearing a look of concentration, Chase clutches his palette and tools and appears poised to touch his brush to the canvas.

William M. Chase, N. A., John Singer Sargent (American, Florence 1856–1925 London), Oil on canvas, American

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