Untitled Document
Nahant, Massachusetts  - Hendricks A. Hallett
  (1 of 1 works)  
Hendricks A. Hallett
"Nahant, Massachusetts "
Oil on canvas
20 x 30 inches
Signed lower left: Hendricks A. Hallett
MME Fine Art Enlarge

Vose Galleries, Boston, Massachusetts

Nahant, Massachusetts is not only a beautiful work, but a prime example of the atmospheric style and subject matter that was the height of popularity in the final years of the nineteenth century. Hallett’s technique, too, was of-the-moment: he spent hours outdoors making both sketches and color observations which he would transpose into oil paint back at his studio. His European contemporaries who used this technique were dubbed “Impressionists”, and Hallett was very likely exposed to the trend for plein air painting when he was in Paris in 1874: the year of the first Impressionist exhibition.

Our painting shows an old boat leaning on its side, beached in the low tide as if tired from a hard day’s work. In the background are faintly rendered utility poles, a nod to the modernization of the coastal town. The painting is a meditation on time, revealing simultaneous themes of progress and tradition; specificity and nostalgia. Hallett has achieved all of this in his masterfully depicted shoreline composition, where his lifelong love of and deep familiarity with Massachusetts coastal life could not be more evident.