Celia Thaxter's Garden, Isles of Shoals, Maine, 1890. Childe Hassam. Oil on canvas. Anonymous Gift, 1994.
This painting is one of the finest of a series of works that Hassam made during summers in the 1890s on Appledore Island, one of the Isles of Shoals, which lie ten miles east of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This series portrays the sumptuous wildflower garden cultivated by his friend, poet Celia Thaxter, a garden that provided a marvelous contrast to the rugged terrain of the island itself. In this painting, vibrant red poppies entangled in lush green foliage introduce a view of bleached Babb's Rock. The painting shows Hassam at the height of his creativity as an American Impressionist.
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