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About This Artwork
Oil on canvas
54.6 x 45.7 cm (21 1/2 x 18 in.)
Restricted gift of Mrs. Harold T. Martin, 1980.202
Frederick MacMonnies abruptly gave up a successful career as a sculptor to take up painting around 1898, but his lack of commerical success in the venture ultimately forced him to abandon it around 1906. At least eight self-portraits are known; although none is signed or dated, they all likely originate from this period. While in several of these MacMonnies holds a palette and brush, he is not identified as an artist in this painting. Portrayed more as a gentleman of leisure, he appears ready to depart to attend a casual gathering. Part of a group of expatriate American artists living in Giverny, France, MacMonnies drew inspiration from his well-known neighbor, Claude Monet, and the broken brushwork and bold lighting of this painting show its affinity with Impressionism.
Judith A. Barter et al, The Age of American Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Art Institute of Chicago (Art Institute of Chicago/Yale University Press, 2011), no. 53.
The artist; by descent to his second wife, Alice Jones MacMonnies, until c. 1963; given to Peter Joray, New York, c. 1963-1966; sold to Kennedy Galleries, New York, 1966-1980; sold to The Art Institute, 1980.