Girl with a Book (1902). William Merritt Chase (American, 1849-1916). Oil on canvas. Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.

Chase embraced a method of rapid working as a replacement for the more staid European approach to portraiture. He argued and presented this point through “painting demonstrations” of works such as “Girl with a Book”, which combined dark and luminous tonalities with the immediacy of vibrant brushwork. Dressing the model in a kimono is reflective of a fascination with Oriental imagery apparent in Chase’s work dating from the 1880’s.