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Boudoir, Chateau de Chaalis

1914 Walter Gay Born: Hingham, Massachusetts 1856 Died: Breau, France 1937 oil on paperboard 25 1/2 x 21 1/4 in. (64.9 x 53.9 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Harper Fletcher in memory of Mr. and Mrs. James Wolcott Wadsworth 1971.284 Not currently on view

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“I have just returned from Chaalis [sic], dead tired but happy, having accomplished in the two days that I [stayed] there as much as I would ordinarily do in as many weeks [and] I have brought back a picture which is one of my best.” Walter Gay, 1914, Gay Papers, quoted in Walter Gay: A Retrospective, Grey Art Gallery and Study Center, New York, 1980

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This château was once the home of an aristocrat who left it to the French Institute in Paris as a museum with all the art objects and furnishings intact. In 1914, its curator invited Walter Gay to visit and allowed him to paint this opulent chamber. A contemporary critic praised Gay’s paintings, saying that “the personality of the people who live in these chateaux has also been suggested and indicated in an extraordinary manner; we can feel their presence.” (Reynolds, “The Spirit of Empty Rooms: Walter Gay’s Paintings of Interiors,” The Magazine Antiques, March 1990)


Architecture Interior - castle - Chateau de Chaalis

Architecture Interior - domestic - bedroom

Homage - Watteau, Jean-Antoine

Object - art object - painting

Object - furniture - chair

Object - furniture - couch

Object - furniture - table


About Walter Gay

Born: Hingham, Massachusetts 1856 Died: Breau, France 1937

More works in the collection by
Walter Gay