Maurice Prendergast


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(b St John's, Newfoundland, 10 Oct. 1859; d New York, 1 Feb. 1924).

Canadian-born American painter and printmaker. He was a member The Eight, but stood somewhat apart from the rest of the group. Boston was his home for most of his life and he spent much of his career travelling and painting abroad; it was only in 1914 that he moved to New York, the centre of The Eight's activities. The main thing he had in common with other members was a desire to revive American art from academic stagnation, and his work is remarkable for its brilliant decorative colour. His paintings were often of people enjoying themselves in innocent pleasures (Central Park in 1903, 1903, Met. Mus., New York). He was one of the first American artists to be influenced by Post-Impressionism, notably in the way in which he emphasized flat pattern. In 1913 he showed seven works in the Armory Show and at this time he stood out as one of the most stylistically advanced American artists. Most of his paintings were in watercolour, but in later years he turned increasingly to oils. He also made about 200 monotypes (mainly between 1891 and 1902), an unusually large oeuvre for this medium.

Subjects: Art.

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