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 Bryant Chapin  (1859 - 1927)

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts      Known for: still life, sea-landscape and portrait painting

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BIOGRAPHY for Bryant Chapin
1859 (Fall River, Massachusetts)
1927 (Fall River, Massachusetts)


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still life, sea-landscape and portrait painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Bryant Chapin was born, lived, painted and died in Fall River, Massachusetts, though he did travel on occasion to Europe, where he painted landscapes.  But he was primarily a still-life painter and sometime portraitist as one of the group of Fall River artists.

Fruit was Chapin's primary still-life subject, depicted with atmospheric* form and light, and high-key color, and placed on complexly-constructed tables whose shiny surfaces enhanced their reflections.  The sense of presence and mystery he brought to these paintings was much appreciated by the public.

Chapin later placed his softly, atmospherically conceived still-lifes in an outdoor setting, as if the berries he favored as subject matter had recently been picked and were lying on the ground or in boxes.

In Chapin's younger days in Fall River, Robert S. Dunning was his teacher, and, not surprisingly, Chapin was influenced by the more experienced artist.  When Chapin grew older, he also became a well-known speaker and teacher at the Fall River Evening Drawing School* in his hometown.

Bryant Chapin's paintings are represented in the Fall River Public Library.

Michael David Zellman, 300 Years of American Art

For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary

Biography from Roger King Fine Art, A - G:
Bryant Chapin was a prolific artist and one of the best-known of the Fall River School. He was a student of renowned Fall River still-life painter Robert Dunning, whose influence is evident in Chapin's paintings.

Chapin's early works often presented fruit resting on polished, reflective surfaces, with the fruit (frequently grapes and peaches) rendered in hazy forms and soft light.  Later Chapin focused strongly on form, vivid color, and subtleties of shape and light.  He often painted apples, where he could display the imperfections of the fruit in minute and realistic detail, and where his mastery of shading and light is often at its best.

Many of his later still lifes depart from the mid-century taste for detailed accessories, and his compositions are staged outdoors in naturalistic light.  Like his predecessors in Fall River, he sometimes employed the use of baskets of berries, boxes, or hats.

Chapin spent most of his life in and around Providence and Fall River, where he taught at the Fall River Evening Drawing School and lectured on art, as Dunning had done before him. His work is of high quality and represents some of the finest still life works produced by the Fall River and Providence schools.

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