Philip Leslie Hale (1865-1931)
An artistic innovator and central figure in the development of the Boston school of painting, Hale gained renown for his depictions of elegant women posed in interiors and in pleasing outdoor settings. In addition to being a sought-after portraitist, he also painted landscapes, using as subject matter his native Massachusetts, Rhode Island (where he taught summer classes), and Europe. Hale was widely admired for his drawing ability; he also worked in pastel and mastered the difficult medium of silverpoint, which was first used during the Renaissance. He exhibited extensively over the course of his career, and his works -- which incorporate elements of impressionism, neo-impressionism and symbolism -- won numerous awards and prizes.
Also a well-known teacher and writer, Hale came from an artistically-inclined family (his sister and wife were also artists) and was considered a central figure in Boston's arts community during his lifetime. He taught at the Museum of Fine Arts School for 38 years, writing texts on art history as well as critical reviews for the Boston newspapers. Hale's writings helped to inculcate a renewed appreciation for the works of Vermeer, whose quiet interior scenes strongly influenced the subject matter chosen by Boston painters after the turn of the 20th century.
Image: Philip Leslie Hale with model, ca. 1930, unidentified photographer. Courtesy of the Archives of American Art. (2140)
American Impressionism & Realism - 2 May - 28 July, 2011
Light Impressions - American Works on Paper 1875-1925 - 9 May - 30 June, 2006