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Avery Galleries

American paintings and works on paper from the late-nineteenth to early twentieth centuries.

Alternate Text 100 Chetwynd Drive
Bryn Mawr , Pennsylvania 19010
United States

phone 610-896-0680
phone 215-582-9242
phone 610-256-5809


Boothbay, Maine

Willard LeRoy Metcalf

Signed lower right: W. L. Metcalf '04

Willard LeRoy Metcalf was not only an excellent painter who played a significant role in the development of American Impressionism, he also affected the way his viewers felt about the American landscape in all of its variety. The directness of his style and its absence of artificiality were prized by his peers. He was appreciated, in the words of the nineteenth-century critic Royal Cortissoz, for the "sincerity and force with which he puts familiar motives before us."1

As a founding member of The Ten, Metcalf combined his artistic training in France––which included formal classes at the Académie Julian in Paris and informal sketching trips in Giverny, where he was influenced by Claude Monet–– with his love for the landscape that surrounded him. He became best known for his intimate pictures of the New England countryside. The views he chose to paint were undeniably beautiful but not grand and majestic or even dramatic. Instead, Metcalf evoked the timelessness of the natural world’s charm and his deep personal connection to the land.

Boothbay, Maine is a superb example of Metcalf’s deliberate choice of subject matter and the signature way he chose to render it. The subtlety of the painting, as revealed in the soft palette and graceful lines, perfectly matches the bucolic scene. A vaporous haze casts a thin veil over the painting and effectively captures the  atmosphere. In all of Metcalf’s paintings from this important period in his career, and particularly here in this work, he combined the influence of the Barbizon School, French Impressionism, James McNeill Whistler, and John Henry Twachtman with his own strong desire to find a place for himself in American art and culture. “The perfect days and nights in his canvases were not artificial, optimistic, or sublime,” writes Elizabeth deVeer and Richard Boyle. “They were a continuous reflection of a journey ‘home,’ expressed with a delicate, assured sense of color and texture. . . ."2 Indeed, nostalgia and sense of place were essential characteristics of Metcalf’s best paintings.

Boothbay, Maine is a newly discovered painting by the arts, making it an extremely rare and important work. It rivals the delicate beauty of Metcalf’s masterworks Benediction (Smithsonian American Art Museum) and May Night (Corcoran Museum of Art/National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.). All of these  scenes conjure a sense of past romance that deeply enthralled Metcalf while he was in Europe, something he missed profoundly upon his return to the States.3 Thus, he endeavored to capture what was unique and beautiful about American heritage as it was expressed in the landscape, and Boothbay Harbor is a tour de force of this effort.


Alberta Binford McCloskey

Matija Poppies

Alfred T. Bricher

View on the Providence River

William Glackens

Bouquet with Foxgloves

Robert Spencer

A Fisherman's House

Robert Reid

The Man in the Moon

Werner Drewes


Henry Bainbridge McCarter

Chime of the Bells

Arthur B. Carles

Flowers in a Yellow Vase

Joseph Stella

Vesuvius III

Thomas Wilmer Dewing

Seated Lady in a Yellow Dress

Thomas Wilmer Dewing

Seated Woman

Arthur Meltzer

Mystic Island, Connecticut