Old interieur scene with a pretty seamstress was executed in the late 19th Century and due to similar style and composition was attributed to the hand of American portrait and genre painter William Merritt Chase ( 1849 Williamsburg– 1916 Ney York).
The artist was known as an exponent of Impressionism and as a teacher. He is also responsible for establishing the Chase School, which later would become Parsons School of Design.He was born in Williamsburg (now Nineveh), Indiana, to the family of a local merchant. Chase´s father moved the family to Indianapolis in 1861 and employed his son as a salesman in the family business. Chase showed an early interest in art, and studied under local, self-taught artists Barton S. Hays and Jacob Cox.
After a brief stint in the Navy, Chase´s teachers urged him to travel to New York to further his artistic training. He arrived in New York in 1869, met and studied with Joseph Oriel Eaton for a short time, then enrolled in the National Academy of Design under Lemuel Wilmarth, a student of the famous French artist Jean-Leon Gerome. He also exhibited his first painting at the National Academy in 1871. Chase´s talent elicited the interest of wealthy St. Louis collectors who arranged for him to visit Europe for two years, in exchange for paintings and Chase´s help in securing European art for their collections.
In Europe Chase settled at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich, a long-standing center of art training that was attracting increasing numbers of Americans. He studied under Alexander Von Wagner and Karl von Piloty, and befriended American artists Walter Shirlaw, Frank Duveneck, and J(oseph) Frank Currier. Upon Chase´s death, in his Estate auction, he owned more works by Currier than any other artist. In Munich, Chase employed his rapidly burgeoning talent most often in figurative works that he painted in the loosely-brushed style popular with his instructors. In January, 1876, one of these figural works, a portrait titled "Keying Up" - The Court Jester (now in the collection of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts) was exhibited at the Boston Art Club; later that year it was exhibited and won a medal at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, and this success gained Chase his first fame.
Chase traveled to Venice, Italy in 1877 with Duveneck and John Henry Twachtman before returning to the United States in the summer of 1878, a highly skilled artist representing the new wave of European-educated American talent. Home in America, he exhibited his painting Ready for the Ride (collection of the Union League Club) with the newly-formed Society of American Artists in 1878. He also opened a studio in New York in the Tenth Street Studio Building, home to many of the important painters of the day. He was a member of the Tilers, a group of artists and authors, among whom were some of his notable friends: Winslow Homer, Arthur Quartley and Augustus Saint Gaudens. (from Wikipedia).
Provenance: Munich private estate; before (due to the label of the back of the frame - property of Mr.Miller, New York).
Literature: "General Artist´s Lexicon" by Thieme/Becker, Leipzig, 1999; Harambourg, 1985; Bénézit V, 1999 - Les salons of retrouvés (K Calais and others), II, [Lille] 1993.
Inscription: signed lower left, on the back of the original frame - old label with the name of the artist , the title and the name of one of previous owners : “ W.M.Chase, A girl knitting, property of Mrs.Miller, New York“.
Technique: oil on canvas. Original period gilt frame.
Measurements: unframed 15 3/8" x 22 1/8" (39 x 56 cm), framed 20 1/8" x 26 3/4" (51 x 68 cm).
Condition: in good original condition.