Maurice Prendergast: Return to Boston, 1894
Upon his return from France, Maurice made his debut as a professional artist in Boston. He was 37 years old, and in a remarkably short time became one of the city’s most highly acclaimed artists. The Sunday Journal contended in 1897 that, “The works of Maurice B. Prendergast, both at the Art Club and the Jordan Art Gallery are the ‘rage of the town.’”
The works of this period mark the beginning of Maurice’s personal style, in which nascent themes of crowds at leisure in parks and at beaches became fully formed. Beginning in 1894, Maurice could be seen along Boston’s parks, piers, and harbors, filling his sketchbooks with studies of women, children, and men enjoying free time. His watercolors and oils capture the artist’s favored locations, including Franklin Park, Marine Park, Revere Beach, and Nantasket, in lively brushstrokes and shimmering tones.