William Merritt Chase
Born. 01.11.1849 in Nineveh/lndiana
Died. 25.10.1916 in New York
American Artist, Impressionist
About the artist
William Merritt Chase was born on 1 November 1849, in Williamsburg Indiana. After the family moved to Indianapolis in 1861 his father employed him as a salesman in the family business.
In 1868 Chase decided to join the Navy but only lasted for three months. His teachers, impressed with his art advised him to go to New York and take artistic training. After a short spell with Joseph Oriel Eaton, he enrolled at the National Academy of Design under Lemuel Wilmarth, a student of the famous French artist Jean-Léon Gérôme.
Problems with the family business in 1870 forced Chase to leave NY to help them in St. Louis. Chase continued with his painting and won prizes for his paintings at local exhibitions, finally securing an exhibit at the National Academy in 1871. Wealthy art collectors offered to send Chase to Europe in exchange for his work and to buy European art for their collections.
In Europe, Chase settled at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich because it had fewer distractions than Paris. He studied under Alexander von Wagner and Karl von Piloty and started painting in the loosely brushed style popular with his instructors.
He traveled to Venice, Italy in 1877 with Duveneck and John Henry Twachtman before returning to New York in the summer of 1878, as a highly skilled artist representing the new wave of European-educated American talent, he decided to open a studio in New York in the Tenth Street Studio Building.
In his final years, Chase taught at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and at the Art Students League.
Chase died on October 25, 1916, at his home in New York City.