Emerald Wave by Charles Hawthorne. *Photo supplied
Emerald Wave by Charles Hawthorne. *Photo supplied

Charles Hawthorne (American 1872-1930) was one of the early practitioners of American Impressionism having studied under William Merritt Chase at Shinnecock Summer Art School in 1896 and went on to open the Cape Cod School of Art in 1899. 

Hawthorne was fascinated with the beauty of Cape Cod, which fit perfectly with the “plein air”, style of infusing outdoor light with a wide colour range. Because painting “plein air” in New England was a little chilly in the winter,
Hawthorne was encouraged by his students to start a winter session in Bermuda.

 He was in Bermuda in 1910 and stayed at the Belmont Hotel from January to April and painted one of his best-known paintings, The Trousseau using Bermudian models. 

The Hawthornes travelled extensively in the winter during the 20’s to Italy, France and Bermuda. Hawthorne was the consummate teacher and best known for portraits, but toward the end of his life, he concentrated on watercolour, producing a series of Bermuda work in which the use “of cool clear greens and blues. …

These same tonalities- transparent washes of subtle greens and blues occasionally enlivened with delicate yellows or the sparkling white of the paper”. 

Happily, Masterworks owns three of these remarkable works. Evan Firestone commented,” Hawthorne’s late watercolours are as fresh and airy as the landscapes themselves…” 

Elise Outerbridge is curator at Masterworks.