Volume 15, Issue 3 | Autumn 2016
William Merritt Chase’s Cosmopolitan Eclecticism
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While eclecticism is a frequently used stylistic appellation in the historiography of William Merritt Chase’s work, it has not been treated analytically or situated historically. To correct this lacuna in the scholarship, this article offers a detailed analysis of two exemplary paintings of Chase’s Tenth Street studio and explores how they not only represent his eclectic collection but also visualize the mechanics of his eclectic artistic process, ultimately accomplishing his aim of arriving at originality through selection rather than invention.
Rodin’s Reputation in Great Britain: The Neglected Role of Alphonse Legros
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This article highlights the role played by the French expatriate artist Alphonse Legros in familiarizing British collectors and the general public with the work of Auguste Rodin. It demonstrates how Legros popularized Rodin by introducing him to Constantine Ionides, a collector who acquired Rodin’s Thinker in 1884, and to William Ernest Henley, the British art critic and poet, who later advertised his sculptures in print. Legros promoted Rodin by exploiting his network of contacts within the British art world and strategically placing the French sculptor’s pieces in public gallery spaces. This strengthened the relationship between Legros’s friends from Lecoq de Boisbaudran’s studio, and ultimately challenged the rigidity of the British Academy with the artistic and political ideals of French modern art.
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