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Summer (recto)

A work made of oil on canvas.

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.


1913 (recto)
1914 (verso)


William Zorach (American, born Jurbarkas, Russian Empire, now Lithuania, 1887–1966)

About this artwork

William Zorach was better known for his wood and stone sculptures, but he began his career as a painter. He initially worked in a more traditional style, but while studying in Paris in 1911, he met his future wife Marguerite Thompson, who pushed him toward a more avant-garde aesthetic. In 1913 the couple rented a house in Chappaqua, New York, where Zorach painted Summer. This rare, early canvas shows Zorach’s love for the organic forms of nature and his exuberant use of color. The image of four languid nudes in a pastoral setting creates a splendid vision of the artistic life, while the often nonnaturalistic hues draw attention to the abstracted, patterned surface. Both in subject matter and style, Summer reveals the artist’s admiration for the work of Henri Matisse, which he would have seen in Paris and at the 1913 Armory Show.


On View, Gallery 271


Arts of the Americas


William Zorach


Summer (recto)


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1913


Oil on canvas


Signed and dated recto, lower right: WM ZORACH. 1913.. Signed and dated verso, lower right: WM ZORACH. 1914..


73.7 × 88.9 cm (29 × 35 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Jamee J. and Marshall Field

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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