Maurice Brazil Prendergast: Central Park 1914–15

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 772

Prendergast captured the park’s festive energy on a summer day and suggested, with broad horizontal bands, the tripartite traffic system that accommodated carriages, horses with riders, and pedestrians. The painting, once titled “Central Park in 1903,” may have been begun in that year and later reworked. It shows women in the types of dresses and hats that were stylish in 1903 and horse-drawn carriages as opposed to the automobiles and bicycles that appeared shortly thereafter. Prendergast’s dense pigments, juxtapositions of complementary colors, and whirls of form indicate the influence upon him of contemporary Synchromist painting.

Quote from The Met

Central Park

Artist: Maurice Brazil Prendergast
             (American, St. John’s, Newfoundland, 1858–1924 New York)
Date:  ca. 1914–15
Medium:  Oil on canvas
Dimensions:  20 3/4 x 27 in. (52.7 x 68.6 cm)
Classification: Paintings
Credit Line:  George A. Hearn Fund, 1950

Timelines   The United States and Canada, 1900 A.D.-present


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