Mrs. Chase in Prospect Park, 1886
William Merritt Chase (American, 1849–1916)
Oil on panel; 13 3/4 x 19 5/8 in. (34.9 x 49.9 cm)
The Chester Dale Collection, Bequest of Chester Dale, 1962 (63.138.2)
Chase had met Alice Gerson (1866–1927), whose father managed a lithography firm, in 1879 or 1880. He painted her and her sister several times during the early 1880s, and married her in February 1887. Chase and his new wife moved to his parents' house in Brooklyn, and it was at this time that he first painted park scenes. Here, his broad strokes and emphasis on reflected light recall Claude Monet's paintings of Argenteuil, but his palette is more restrained than that of the French Impressionists. The painter J. Carroll Beckwith, to whom Chase dedicated this sketch, taught with him at the Art Students League.