Already familiar with other New England art colonies, Childe Hassam found much to like in Old Lyme, including the town’s history and rugged terrain. He depicted the area’s rock ledges in both spring and fall during stays at Florence Griswold’s boarding house. Choosing a square canvas and setting a high horizon line, Hassam creates a mesmerizing, almost decorative pattern of autumn leaves, tree trunks, shadows, and boulders with flickering touches of his paintbrush. Compared to the softer, smoother surface of Hassam’s Summer Evening, The Ledges demonstrates the high-key color and active brushwork soon embraced by fellow artists in Old Lyme, shifting the colony’s orientation from Tonalism to Impressionism.
The Ledges, October in Old Lyme, Connecticut
oil on canvas • 18 × 18 in