Fifth Avenue at Washington Square, New York

Childe Hassam

La Quinta Avenida en Washington Square, Nueva York

Hassam, Childe

Dorchester, 1859 - East Hampton, 1935

Fifth Avenue at Washington Square, New York, 1891

© Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza

Signed lower right: ''Childe Hassam. 1891''
Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection on loan to the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

Oil on canvas

56 x 40,6 cm

CTB.1979.19

Artwork history

  • Macbeth Gallery, New York.

  • Newhouse Galleries, New York.

  • Charles T. Davies, Wyomissing (PA).

  • Newhouse Galleries, New York.

  • Private collection.

  • Margaret Newhouse, New York.

  • Andrew Crispo Gallery, New York.

  • Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Lugano, 1979.

  • Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection on loan to the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid.

1979

American Impressionism, New York (NY), Andrew Crispo Gallery.

1982

Exhibition, Paris, The United States Embassy.

1983

Maestri Americani della Collezione Thyssen-Bornemisza, Vatican City, Musei Vaticani, nº 58.

1984

Maestri Americani della Collezione Thyssen-Bornemisza, Lugano, Villa Malpensata, nº 56.

1984 - 1986

American Masters: The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Baltimore (MD), The Baltimore Museum of Art; Detroit (MI), The Detroit Institute of Arts; Denver (CO), Denver Art Museum; San Antonio (TX), Marion Koogler McNay Art Institute; New York (NY), IBM Gallery of Arts and Sciences; San Diego (CA), San Diego Museum of Art; Palm Beach (FL), The Society of the Four Arts, nº 58, p. 84.

1988

Mestres americans del segle XIX de la Col·lecció Thyssen-Bornemisza, Barcelona, Palau de la Virreina.

1988 - 1989

Bilder aus der Neuen Welt. Amerikanische Malerei des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts. Meisterwerke aus der Sammlung Thyssen-Bornemisza und Museen der Vereinigten Staaten, Berlin, Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz; Zurich, Kunsthaus Zürich, nº 85, illus.

1990

Impressionismo americano. Capolavori da collezioni pubbliche e private degli Stati Uniti d’America, Lugano, Villa Favorita, nº 18, p. 58.

1996

De Canaletto a Kandinsky. Obras maestras de la Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, nº 65, p. 176.

1997

Capolavori dalla Collezione di Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza: 60º anniversario dell'apertura della Pinacotecca di Villa Favorita, Lugano, Villa Favorita, nº 86, p. 226.

1997 - 1998

The Spirit of the Place. Masterworks from the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Nueva York, The Frick Collection; Hartford (CT), Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, nº 20, p. 64 (only in Hartford).

1998 - 1999

Masterworks from the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Tokyo, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum; Takaoka, Takaoka Art Museum; Nagoya, Matsuzaka Art Museum; Sendai, Miyagi Museum of Art, nº 55, p. 128.

2000

De Corot a Monet. Los orígenes de la pintura moderna en la Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Valencia, Museo del Siglo XIX, p. 206.

2000 - 2001

La Révolte de la couleur. De l’impressionnisme aux Avant-gardes. Chefs-d’oeuvre de la Collection Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Brussels, Musée d’Ixelles, nº 4, p. 30.

2009

La Sombra, Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza - Fundación Caja Madrid, nº 60, p. 274, illus. p. 157.

2011

La tradición moderna en la Colección Carmen Thyssen. Monet, Picasso, Matisse, Miró, Málaga, Museo Carmen Thyssen Málaga, p. 66, illus. p. 67.

2012

Paisatges de llum, paisatges de somni. De Gauguin a Delvaux. Col·lecció Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Espai Carmen Thyssen, p. 108, illus. p. 109.

2015

Barcelona, París, New York. D´Urgell a O´Keeffe. Col.lecció Carmen Thyssen. Del 11 de julio al 18 de octubre de 2015. Espai Carmen Thyssen, Sant Feliu de Guixols, p. 118.

2018 - 2019

Femina Feminae. Muses and the collector. From Piazetta to Delaunay. Museu Carmen Thyssen Andorra. p. 32-33 y p. 86-87.

  • -Novak, Barbara: Nineteenth-Century American Painting: The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection. Ellis, Elizabeth Garrity… [et al.]. London, Sotheby´s Publications, 1986 , nº 103, pp. 296-297, illus. [Sheet by Kathleen Pyne].

  • -Gaehtgens, Thomas W. (ed.): Bilder aus der Neuen Welt. Amerikanische Malerei des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts. Meisterwerke aus der Sammlung Thyssen-Bornemisza und Museen der Vereinigten Staaten. Adams, Willi Paul. [et al.]. [Exhib. Cat. Berlin, Nationalgalerie – Zurich, Kunsthaus Zürich, 1988-1989]. Munich, Prestel, 1988 , s.p. [Sheet Von Bismarck].

  • -Impressionismo americano. Capolavori da collezioni pubbliche e private degli Stati Uniti d’America. [Exhib. cat.]. Gerdts, W. H. (ed.). Lugano, Villa Favorita, 1990, p. 58 [Sheet by Gerdts].

  • -Fort, Ilene Susan: Childe Hassam’s New York. San Francisco, Pomegranate Artbooks, 1993, nº 8, illus.

  • -De Canaletto a Kandinsky. Obras maestras de la Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, [Exhib. Cat. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza], 1996, n. 65, p. 176.

  • -Walther, I. F. (ed.): Impressionist Art, 1860-1920. Cologne – New York, 1997, illus.

  • -Capolavori dalla Collezione di Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza: 60º anniversario dell’apertura della Pinacotecca di Villa Favorita, Lugano, Villa Favorita [Exhib. Cat. Villa Favorita, Lugano], 1997, n. 86, p. 226.

  • -The Spirit of the Place. Masterworks from the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection,  Hartford (CT), Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art,  [Exhib. Cat.  Hartford], 1997, n. 20, p. 64.

  • -Masterworks from the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Tokio, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum; Takaoka, Takaoka Art Museum; Nagoya, Matsuzaka Art Museum; Sendai, Miyagi Museum of Art [Exhib. Cat. Japan], 1998, n. 55, p. 128.

  • -De Corot a Monet. Los orígenes de la pintura moderna en la Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Valencia, Museo del Siglo XIX [Exhib. Cat. Museo del Siglo XIX, Valencia], 2000, p. 206.

  • -La Révolte de la couleur. De l’impressionnisme aux Avant-gardes. Chefs-d’oeuvre de la Collection Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Bruselas, Musée d’Ixelles [Exhib. Cat. Musée d’Ixelles, Brussels], 2000, n. 4, p. 30.

  • -Weber, Bruce: Homage to the Square: Picturing Washington Square, 1890-1965. [Exhib. cat.]. New York, Berry-Hill Galleries, 2001, illus.

  • -Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza. Arnaldo, Javier (ed.). 2 vols. Madrid, Fundación Colección Thyssen-Bornemisza, 2004, vol. 2, p. 214, illus. p. 215 [Sheet by Kathleen Pyne].

  • -La Sombra, Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza – Fundación Caja Madrid [Exhib. Cat. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza], 2009, n. 60, p. 274, lám. p. 157.

  • -La tradición moderna en la Colección Carmen Thyssen. Monet, Picasso, Matisse, Miró, Málaga, Museo Carmen Thyssen Málaga [Exhib. Cat. Museo Carmen Thyssen, Málaga], 2011, p. 66, lám. p. 67.

  • -Paisatges de llum, paisatges de somni. De Gauguin a Delvaux. Col·lecció Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Espai Carmen Thyssen, [Exhib. Cat. Espai Carmen Thyssen], 2012, 108, lám. p. 109.

  • -Barcelona, París, New York. D´Urgell a O´Keeffe. Col.lecció Carmen Thyssen. Espai Carmen Thyssen, Sant Feliu de Guixols [Cat. Exp. Espai Carmen Thyssen], 2015, p. 118.

  • – Femina Feminae. Muses and the collector. From Piazetta to Delaunay. Museu Carmen Thyssen Andorra. [Exhib. Cat. Museu Carmen Thyssen Andorra], 2018. P.  32-33 y p. 86-87  [Sheet by Kathleen Pyne]

Expert report

Following his return from Paris in 1889, Hassam lived at 95 Fifth Avenue, a few steps from Washington Square, one of the oldest genteel enclaves in the city. This painting probably depicts that block of brownstones and perhaps the sidewalk in front of Hassam’s studio apartment. He chose to live on a part of Fifth Avenue that resembled the tree-lined boulevards of Paris. Nearby, the soon to be completed Washington Arch, designed by Stanford White, suggested the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs-Elysées. During the early 1890s Hassam painted a number of views of the Avenue in all kinds of weather and became well known for them. He also illustrated an article on the subject by Marianna G. Van Rensselaer for The Century Magazine in 1893.

During his two sojourns in France during the 1880s Hassam absorbed the painterly technique and abrupt compositional format suggestive of the tempo of modern urban life from the French Impressionists and naturalists who were his neighbours in Montmartre. In the spirit of the French painters, Hassam said that his primary interest in such scenes was to capture “humanity in motion”. In Fifth Avenue at Washington Square the small blurred figures and cabs passing in the street are seen from slightly above eye level, which may reflect the artist’s practice at the time of painting from cab windows. The view from a cab would have aided in framing the composition, which is marked by its clear geometries and carefully balanced internal order; the intersecting diagonal lines in the street, sidewalk and towering trees frame the figures and, by contrast, enhance their miniature scale and movement. The vertical orientation of the canvas stresses the arching canopy of trees above which give the fashionable strollers below a sense of protection. The spaciousness in the lateral spread of the avenue and walk also recalls the boulevards of Paris. Hassam enveloped the scene with a gentle, flickering golden light which is complemented by cool greens and blues in the shadows. Much of the picture’s delicacy and charm is staked on the small feathery brushstrokes which reflect his work in pastel.

Although Hassam assimilated the compositions and light of Monet’s Impressionism, his colour harmonies and delight in “beauty for its own sake” followed Whistler’s Aestheticism. Recognised as a synthesis of these two strains by critics in his own time, Hassam’s animated, celebratory paintings manifest a highly aestheticised, hybrid form of Impressionism which Americans supported enthusiastically in the 1890s and the first decades of the 20th century.

Kathleen Pyne