About This Artwork

Edward Henry Potthast
American, 1857–1927

A Holiday, c. 1915

Oil on canvas
76.4 × 101.8 cm (30 1/8 × 40 1/8 in.)
Signed lower left: E. Potthast

Friends of American Art Collection, 1915.560

A Holiday depicts one of the beach scenes for which Edward Henry Potthast was best known. Capturing a quintessentially Impressionist setting—a sun-dappled landscape with women and children enjoying leisure time—the artist also utilized the movement’s technique of broken brushwork and the use of brilliant colors. In the painting the children converse and frolic at the water’s edge on a windy day. There is nothing threatening about the waves or wind; indeed, Potthast’s paintings were both praised and criticized for presenting nothing other than a pleasant, innocent, and optimistic view.

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Exhibition of Paintings: Collection of the Friends of American Art lent by the Art Institute of Chicago, June 26-July 26, 1926, no. 21.

Chicago, Garfield Park Art Galleries, Exhibition of Greek Sculptures and American Paintings lent by the Art Institute of Chicago, November 5, 1935–March 3, 1936.

Cincinnati Art Museum, Eternal Summer: The Art of Edward Henry Potthast, June 8-September 8, 2013.

Publication History

Patricia Jobe Pierce, "Edward Henry Potthast: More Than One Man," Pierce Galleries (2006) p. 57, ill.

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. 75.

Interpretive Resources

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