Cape Cod Art Preservation Society
TOP 10

The Ten Best Paintings of Childe Hassam

For a long time Childe Hassam was not a household name like many of his contemporaries, but that's beginning to change.

In recent years there has been a renewed appreciation for this great talent, and we're going to add to that by highlighting ten of our favorite Hassam paintings.
Paris Winter Day By Childe Hassam

Paris, Winter Day

So, so much to love in this painting. First of all, the color palette: pinks and purples and creamy whites...just magical. Then the hazy effect that gives the viewer a chilly sense of being there. And finally, the horses! You would be hard-pressed to find an artist who captures the essence of a living, breathing horse better than Childe Hassam.
In The Park Paris By Childe Hassam

In The Park, Paris

This painting gets so many things right. The composition is exquisite - the mother and child are positioned to the far left of the space between the trees; the dog stepping into the street; the yellow bush isolated in the right third of the canvas. And the contrast makes the image striking. Many artists would neglect to add the darkness of the mother's skirt shadow and the far wall, but these dark elements are what make the rest of the image seem so bright.
Summer Evening By Childe Hassam

Summer Evening

Hassam does a great job of conveying the senses of "inside" and "outside" with this painting. The woman, the curtains, the wall all have a protected, shaded feel (in contrast to the almost bleached-out look of the outdoors.) And there on the inset wall of the window is the blending of inside and out: mingling of bright sunlight and the shadows it creates.
Promenade At Sunset Paris By Childe Hassam

Promenade At Sunset, Paris

Oh, what a gorgeous painting. Another signature feature of Childe Hassam's body of work is his masterful use of gray. A lot of times artists will shy away from gray hues thinking that it will make the painting dull or muddy. But as can clearly be seen by this masterpiece, when used properly gray tones give a painting a feeling of regality. And the woman's jacket is radiant perfection.
A Back Road By Childe Hassam

A Back Road

Green is a tough color to get right. In this painting Hassam gets the green just right. Or rather, greens. There are many, many shades of green in this painting and they're all the correct tint and tone. No easy feat. Plus, we're amazed at how subtle and toned-down the guy driving the cart is. It would have been tempting for Childe to show too much of him, but this very accurate portrayal shows the discipline of a master - only highlight what you can actually see.
At Dusk Boston Common At Twilight By Childe Hassam

At Dusk (Boston Common at Twilight)

Probably Hassam's most famous painting, and rightfully so. Most painters wouldn't even take on this scene. The challenge of getting the look and feel just right is very daunting. It's a fine, fine line with something like this to not have the canvas turn dull and muddy (or the opposite - too vivid and losing that feeling of dusk.) I don't know how many times Childe attempted this painting, but whether it was once or a dozen the end result is very impressive.
Home Sweet Home Cottage East Hampton By Childe Hassam

The “Home, Sweet Home” Cottage, East Hampton, Long Island

In the early days of the movement, the Impressionists tried to stick to a goal of not using black in their paintings. Thankfully, they got past this arbitrary limitation. Because black is what makes this painting. It's very much an Impressionist painting, but the use of dark hues like black and raw umber really make the colors pop and give the imagery weight. There must be a million brushstrokes in this painting...it makes it feel alive.
At The Florist By Childe Hassam

At The Florist

Another example of Hassam's masterful use of gray. This painting is what we're all about here at CCAPS: an artist has learned from the geniuses who came before him, and used that knowledge to create something new and exciting.
Rainy Day Boston By Childe Hassam

Rainy Day, Boston

Like so many of his best works, this piece displays Childe's amazing restraint. It is truly difficult for an artist to tone down a painting to this extent without going too far. A little more black or raw umber and this canvas would be an indistinguishable mess. Instead, it perfectly captures the dreary feel of an overcast day with complete accuracy.
The Barnyard By Childe Hassam

The Barnyard

Not a typical Hassam painting. This one actually feels a bit like a Winslow Homer. But Childe did such a wonderful job, it doesn't matter. Like so many of his contemporaries, the artist portrays the dignity and splendor of the everyday chores of the working man. Majestic.