June 5 Art Minute: Charles Demuth, “The Bay, Provincetown”

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Charles Demuth (American, 1883–1935), The Bay, Provincetown. Watercolor on paper, about 1914. 10 1/8 by 14 1/8 inches. Museum Purchase, 1938.13. In the special installation Masterworks of the 20th Century, Gallery 6

A leading American Modernist painter of the early 20th century, Charles Demuth was considered a master of the watercolor. Born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, as a child Demuth was encouraged by his parents to pursue his interest in art. He studied in Philadelphia at the Drexel Institute and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. While studying in Paris, he met many of the great Modern painters, including Henri Matisse (1869–1954) and George Braque (1882–1963). These encounters influenced his use of bright colors and fluid lines, and even encouraged him to experiment with Cubism.

Returning from Paris, Demuth opened a studio in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where this vibrant, expressionistic watercolor was painted.

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