An American in Giverny
An Impressionist from Boston, Philip Leslie Hale, extends Monet's legacy with this diaphanous woman.
Philip Leslie Hale (1865-1931), Summer, oil on canvas, around 1893, with an inscription on the back of the frame, "Hale, L'été", 102 x 65 cm.
Born in Boston, Philip Leslie Hale began studying at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in his native city in 1883, and continued to explore painting at the New York Art Students League before crossing the Atlantic in 1887. Paris then welcomed him to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the Académie Julian, where he delved further into the teachings of academicism while discovering Impressionism. The young man spent most of his summers at Giverny, home to a colony of American followers of Monet. Fired up by all this emulation, Hale also adopted small contrasting strokes that made the light vibrate, as wonderfully illustrated by this painting of c.1893. On his return to the US at around that time, where he became an art teacher and critic, he specialized in depicting delicate women relaxing in gardens. An idealistic vision much in vogue at the time when the women's suffrage movement was in full swing.