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Maurice Brazil Prendergast

(1858-1924)

Alias: Maurice Prendergast

Landscape painter, Painter, Still life painter, Illustrator

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Biography

(b St. John’s, Newfoundland 1858; d New York 1924) Canadian-born painter. Maurice Prendergast apprenticed with a commercial artist in Boston before traveling to Paris to study at the famed Académie Julian. There he met a number of contemporary French and English artists, who profoundly influenced him. When he returned to the United States, he became a member of the “Eight;” a group of artists who worked in very diverse styles, many of whom specialized in painting scenes from lives of the urban working class. Prendergast, by contrast, delighted in painting parks, beaches, and streets thronged with fashionably dressed people in a gay mood. His highly personal technique deployed flat areas of bright color in rhythmic patterns, in compositions that frequently resemble mosaics. Following a visit to Paris in 1907, Prendergast was struck by the palette of Cezanne. In response, he increasingly began to paint in oil, applying the medium more heavily, and emphasizing two-dimensional patterns of simplified shapes. He exhibited seven works of this type in the Armory Show in 1913. (Credit: Doyle New York, Modern & Contemporary and European & American Art, May 19, 2009, Lot 217)

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