Willard Metcalf Information and Inventory

Willard Metcalf

(1858 - 1925)

Willard Metcalf


Few artists worked harder, traveled farther and waited longer to find their “ultimate voice.” Hailed as a major Impressionist landscape painter, founding member of the influential group known as “the Ten,” Willard Metcalf struggled, and despite extended stays in Giverny with Monet and the first generation of American artists, rejected the Impressionist teachings. In the company of his friend Childe Hassam, a summer’s visit to Cape Ann in 1895 produced a brief explosion of brilliant Impressionist work, which shortly disappeared as Metcalf slipped back into commissions, illustration, and more tonal work. It was not until about 1904 that Metcalf finally found what he seems to have spent a quarter century looking for. This modest example of a Metcalf snowscape is a rare watercolor purchased at Kennedy Gallery in 1980 and was probably executed around 1911, possibly in Cornish, New Hampshire, while visiting his friend Charles Platt. An anecdote from Metcalf’s life: his parents were believers in the occult, and during a séance, a spirit spoke to them saying that their son would become a famous artist “when the snow of winter lay upon his brow.” After the lengthy search for his artistic expression, in his mid-forties, hair grayed, the prophecy his parents heard came true.

Willard Metcalf Gallery

No paintings by this author