American expatriate Walter Gay devoted the majority of his professional career to painting small-scale, richly adorned interiors like this one. The Commode depicts the Rococo-inspired salon at Château du Bréau, the artist’s residence outside Paris. Although he typically did not portray people in his works, Gay suggested their presence through the use of mirrors, windows, and open doors as seen in this bright and airy, sun-filled room.
Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.
Judith A. Barter et al., The Age of American Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago/Yale University Press, 2011), no. 51.
San Diego, Museum of Art, Mar–May 1926.
Evanston, IL, University League, Oct. 1926.
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Selection of American Paintings Purchased by the Friends of American Art and Presented to the Art Institute of Chicago, Nov–Dec. 1926.
Omaha, NE, Joslyn Memorial Museum, Nov–Dec. 1931.
Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress, June 1–Oct. 1933.
Chicago, Garfield Park Art Galleries, Exhibition of Greek Sculptures and American Paintings lent by the Art Institute of Chicago, Nov. 5, 1935–Mar. 3, 1936.
Art Institute of Chicago, Half a Century of American Art, Nov. 16, 1939–Jan. 7, 1940.
Indiana, South Bend Art Association, American Painting in the Manner of the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries, Feb. 10–Mar. 31, 1948.
Grey Art Gallery, New York University, Walter Gay: A Retrospective, Sept. 16–Nov. 1, 1980.
Pittsburgh, Frick Art Museum, Impressions of Interiors: Gilded Age Paintings by Walter Gay, Oct. 5, 2012–Jan. 6, 2013; Palm Beach, FL, Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, Jan. 29–Apr. 21, 2013.
Art Institute of Chicago, John Singer Sargent and Chicago’s Gilded Age, July 1–Sept. 30, 2018, cat. 80, fig. 117.
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