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Spring in Central Park

Painting, 1898, 74.9×95.2 cm

Description of the artwork «Spring in Central Park»

The success of Childe Gassam's cityscapes is largely due to his love of busy city life and his unique approach to composition, color, light and atmosphere. Gassam's park scenes offer an artificial shelter, much needed to save the urban population, who suffered under the burden of rapid industrialization. "Spring in Central Park" illustrates the brilliance of impressionism, extols the beauty of an urban oasis in the turmoil of a changing city.

At the turn of the century, Central Park Ball was the largest and most famous public park in the country. It is located in downtown Manhattan. More than eight hundred hectares of hills, meadows and forests of the park are interspersed with ponds and lakes and cut by miles of pedestrian roads. Central Park reaches symbolic status, it embodies the antidote to the unceremoniously invading modern world.

Depicting a lushly blooming spring, Gassam placed in the foreground a nanny who walks with children. In the background, young men and a woman strolling, as well as a receding carriage, are visible. The artist chose to ignore the buildings of the city, which are barely visible in the background through the leaves, focusing on the inside of the park and creating a kind of urban pastoral. Gassam depicted the landscape of the park, emphasizing its balance with curved shapes. Thanks to the skillful choice of location and selection of objects, the artist successfully captures the idealistic moment of the life of New York on canvas.

“Spring in Central Park” is more than just a leisurely cityscape; rather, it is a true image of serenity. The scene is given from a low (located almost at the level of the park path) point of view. This gives it a more intimate character, emphasizes the individuality of the figures, allows you to depict them more clearly. Gassam uses uniform long strokes to fill the picture with a sensation of graceful movement formed by the flowing gait of fashionably dressed women and trees swaying from the spring breeze.

“Spring in Central Park” is the culmination of the work of Childe Gassam of the 1890s, demonstrating the balance of the artist’s formal discipline and creative freedom. The symbolic place for New York is not depicted as a symbol, but is filled with lively charm: it is provided primarily by virtuoso work with color and light, which, spreading, harmonizes all the elements of the picture with each other. Gassam looks at innovative urbanization through the eyes of an impressionist, this makes it possible to discover a wonderful corner of serenity, even in a booming city.

Today, “Spring in Central Park” is the most expensive of Childe Gassam's paintings. May 21, 2008 she was sold at Christie's auction for 5 million 641 thousand dollars.

Author: Oleg Vybyvanets
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Genre scene

Style of art: Impressionism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1898

Size: 74.9×95.2 cm

Artwork in selections: 13 selections