Childe Hassam, Maréchal Niel Roses, 1919, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of John Gellatly, 1929.6.58Luce Center LabelChilde Hassam posed a young model at a mahogany table with two vases of Maréchal Niel roses, a flower named for Napoléon III’s secretary of war. Hassam believed that people were shaped by their environments, and here the hybrid roses symbolize America’s culture, which he thought had absorbed the best elements of European and Asian history. The two women in the painting, a blonde and a brunette, similarly evoke different “strains” that had blended to create an American hybrid of womanhood.Smithsonian American Art Museum Luce Foundation Center 4th Floor 29B
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