Childe Hassam (1859–1935)

Une Averse—rue Bonaparte, 1887

Oil on canvas, 40 3/8 x 77 7/16 in. (102.6 x 196.7 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1993.20

Childe Hassam formulated a genteel, sensuous, distinctly American interpretation of impressionism. In Une Averse—rue Bonaparte, he pictures a rainy Parisian street as a byway for a complex mix of urban dwellers: fashionable bourgeois pedestrians under umbrellas, a toiling laborer and his daughter, and liveried drivers chatting as they await passengers for their black cabs along the curb. The setting, with its bright but overcast sky, pools of water on the pavement, and sheen on black umbrellas and cab roofs, contributes to the impression of a quotidian Paris as experienced not by the foreign tourist but by an ordinary resident. Hassam’s first major painting of Paris, created during his formative 1886–89 stay there and exhibited in the Paris Salon in 1887, Une Averse—rue Bonaparte marks an important advance in his portrayal of the modern city as he came under the influence of French impressionism.

Learn more about this painting on the Terra Foundation website.