Willard Leroy Metcalf — “Au Cafe” (1888), “May Night” (1906) and “Indian Summer, Vermont” (1922)

2 Nov

Willard Leroy Metcalf, Au Cafe (1888)

Willard Metcalf  (1858-1925), a friend of John Twachtman (who will soon be featured on this blog) was a landscape painter from the start.  Most famous for his New England landscape paintings, Metcalf also had a knack for capturing turn-of-the-century cafe life.

While John Sloan featured the working class, Metcalf’s attention was drawn “uptown.”  I love the mood Metcalf captures in Au Cafe, especially the interaction of the warm reds and yellows.  It feels rich — which perfectly suits the subject.

By contrast, May Night is cool, moody and romantic.  It feels like a scene from The Great Gatsby.

Indian Summer, Vermont gets to the essence of a warm autumn day — much like the ones we’ve been experiencing around here for the past month or so.  The strong yellows and blues amplify one another for a strong composition.

Willard Leroy Metcalf, May Night (1906)

Willard Leroy Metcalf, Indian Summer, Vermont (1922)

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