British, 1858 – 1919
A Quiet Cove, Girl Canoeing, 1900
Oil on panel
15 ¾ x 13 inches
Saint Vincent Art & Heritage Collections
Gift of Michael and Aimee Rusinko Kakos
Having never completely abandoned the medieval romanticism of the English Pre-Raphaelites, the academic training of his youth, or an interest in French Impressionism, Arthur Hacker’s work straddles styles and centuries. In 1886, he helped found the New English Art Club together with Stanhope Forbes, with whom he had also studied at the Royal Academy Schools and in the Parisian atelier of Léon Bonnat. Despite his association with a group committed to exhibiting progressive painting, Hacker sustained a robust output of classical genre scenes, religious subjects, and portraits of London’s elite.
Hacker was awarded a silver medal at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900, the year he created this work. Sitting on the end of canoe, a woman dressed in Edwardian fashion retrieves a waterlily’s bloom from the river. The loose brushwork behind her places the viewer in an ethereal, watery realm reminiscent of Monet’s gardens at Giverny.