Fiske's landscape paintings, often sketched en plein air, display a keen eye for nature, light and atmosphere. Wells Beach, Maine is a charming example, with her vibrant palette which she combines with sweeping brushwork and a keen sense of color placement.
A leading woman artist of the Boston School, Gertrude Fiske trained under Edmund Tarbell, Frank Benson, and Philip Hale when she entered the Museum School in 1904. The influence of these instructors can especially be seen in her early portrait and interior figure paintings. While she often used young women in her figure studies, she differed from her Boston colleagues in frequent portrayals of tradesmen and the elderly. Her brilliant, vigorous landscapes reflect the qualities of her other instructor, Charles H. Woodbury. Fiske attended Woodbury’s classes in Ogunquit, Maine, during the summers, and his bold, aggressive and painterly visions of nature were to have a profound influence on her artistic career.
Fiske established herself at Riverway Studios, then later at Fenway Studios in Boston while also maintaining a studio at her family’s home in Weston. Summers were spent with friends at her second home on in Ogunquit.
Fiske’s increasing interest in the art and artists of New England led her to become a founding member of the Guild of Boston Artists, and she exhibited in numerous group shows around the country, including a 1917 women artists show held at Vose Galleries. By her late thirties, Fiske had earned a reputation for being a leading woman painter in Boston.
More information about this painting...
Estate of the artist
To Vose Galleries, Boston, inventory no. GF-237, 1987
To private collection, Chelsea, Massachusetts, October 1987
Eventually to collection, Boston, Massachusetts, 2014
(verso of board in pencil) Wells Beach, Maine
- Previous Vose Galleries label, Inventory No. GF-237
- Estate stamp
Gertrude Fiske (1878-1961), Vose Galleries of Boston, October 1 – December 31, 1987