Gifford Beal


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Painter and printmaker. A lifelong New Yorker, he is remembered particularly for outdoor views and circus scenes, painted in an impressionist style. A 1900 Princeton University graduate, Gifford Reynolds Beal received his training as an artist at the Art Students League and with William Merritt Chase. Although he traveled, most of his work depicts scenes of New York or New England. Beal's early work was dark and moody, but by 1910 his seascapes show a lighter, more atmospheric effect. He subsequently continued to develop his skill in capturing radiant light and color. The Albany Boat (Metropolitan Museum, 1915) effectively renders a sunny day along the Hudson River. In the foreground, a well-dressed crowd enjoys the pleasant weather; behind and below, docked on the brilliantly blue water, the white paddle-wheel boat receives passengers. Gifford's brother, painter and printmaker Reynolds Beal (1867–1951), also a New York native and student of Chase, painted at first in a dark-toned realist manner. Later, he worked in a high-keyed impressionist style, at his most vigorous including touches of nonnaturalistic color in a bright weave of strokes. He traveled widely and was known particularly as a watercolorist. He resided for many years in Rockport, Massachusetts, where he died.

Subjects: Art.

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