Walter Elmer Schofield, Montmartre

c. 1896
Oil on canvas
Credit Line
Funding for the purchase of “Montmartre” – in honor of Miss Margaret E. Phillips and in memory of her parents: Sarah M. Phillips (née Schofield) & Herbert L. Phillips – made possible by the Walter Elmer Schofield Legacy Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation, 2019
37 x 47 1/2 in.

Schofield immersed himself in the study of Impressionism while living in France at different times in the 1890s. He stayed in Fontainebleau and Brittany, and toured the country with fellow painters Robert Henri and William Glackens in 1895. He painted Montmartre while living in Paris. This is thought to have been the view from the window of the apartment he rented: an image of the very café and bistro he would have frequented every day. In Schofield’s painting, bright summer light traverses the varied textures and warm creams and ochres of Montmartre’s distinctive stucco facades.

The artist may have been inspired by paintings of the Parisian cityscape by his French contemporary Camille Pissarro, such as Avenue de l’Opéra: Morning Sunshine, now in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. That painting was originally acquired by the Tyson family of Chestnut Hill, with whom the Schofields were friendly.

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