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Charles Webster Hawthorne


Alias: Charles W. Hawthorne

Genre Painter, Portrait painter

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(b Richmond, Main, 1872; d Baltimore, Maryland, 1930) Charles Hawthorne moved to New York at the age of eighteen. He supported himself as a dockhand and stained glass maker while taking evening classes at the Art Student League. He attended William Merritt Chase’s class in 1896, and helped Chase found and managed the Chase School of Art in Manhattan, later known as the Parson’s School of Design. While traveling in Europe with Chase, Hawthorne was strongly influenced by the Dutch artist, Frans Hals, and the Renaissance masters, such as Giorgione and Titian. Like the artists he admired, Hawthorne was a talented figurative painter drawn to the rich colors and lusciousness of oil paint, capable of painting elaborate patterns with just a few bravura brushstrokes. Hawthorne was inspired to establish his own school teaching outdoor figure painting. In 1899, he founded the Cape Cod School of Art in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Among the well know students who attended his school were Normal Rockwell and William H. Johnson. Hawthorne spent his time teaching at the school every summer until his death in 1930. During the winters, he traveled to New York or Paris, and in 1917, he became a full member of the French Société National des Beaux-Arts. (Credit: Phillips de Pury & Company, New York, American Art, December 3, 2002, Lot 51.)

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