The Room of Flowers Childe Hassam Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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The Room of Flowers is a charming piece by Childe Hassam which dates from 1894. It features an indoor scene which was relatively rare for the artist, and captures a sun lit room, perhaps an office or living room, somwheere in the US.

Whilst Hassam was heavily influenced by French art, particularly the Impressionists and the Barbizon School, his own work would be based in the US using the styles that he acquired from elsewhere. He was a true patriot, as seen in paintings such as The Avenue in the Rain and The Fourth of July, 1916, and he loved to capture his changing nation through his work. Whilst the original Impressionists in France had baulked at industrialisation and the ever increasing pace of life in the cities, Hassam actually embraced it and saw this as a positive development. He would capture Fifth Avenue several times, with its bustling crowds and scenes of celebration, though never losing touch with the more natural side of the nation too. He would produce around 3,000 artworks during his career and would occasionally diverge from his two main genres of cityscapes and landscapes. In The Room of Flowers he touches of humanity and its many nuances but without actually featuring anyone within the painting itself. We learn much about the owner of this property, their tastes, behaviours and perhaps their family life too.

We find in front of us here a long room with several windows to the right hand side which allow bright light to envelop the various details inside. Nearest to us is a bulb shaped glass vase with a narrow neck, with yellow flowers peaking out the top. It sits on a small wooden table with a white cloth over the top. There are small boxes to the side, perhaps sketchbooks for art or small boxes of watercolour paints. The walls in this room are filled in every corner with various framed paintings and prints, with a wide arrangement that feels entirely personal and fun. The owner of this house has laid everything out to their taste, unconcerned about being tidy or organised. The paintings tend to be from two main genres, portraiture and landscape art. Further along the room we find a stool being used as another table, plus a further table at the back with a wooden chair alongside. Every inch of this room appears to be filled with one feature or another.

Further research into The Room of Flowers reveals more about the content in front of us here. The piece was actually in honour of a friend of the artist, Celia Thaxter, and this was one of the rooms in her house which served as a gallery of sorts. Essentially, many of the artworks found within it would actually be for sale, though in a more relaxed setting than a traditional gallery. Hassam would visit her many times, normally during the summer when he could take advantage of the improved climate and work both indoors and outdoors within her garden and close by. They would meet in her house with other like minded individuals and so this artwork was carefully chosen as a means to capture the essence of the lady herself, with bright colours, a love for art, and a relaxed, informal manner which is all displayed by the layout of this room.