History And Context


Noted for his colorful, decorative scenes of outdoor leisure life in Europe and North America, Maurice Prendergast was a Bostonian watercolorist and oil painter. Prendergast’s work was championed by Phillips for its pretty, aesthetic qualities.

Fantasy, painted circa 1917, is an oil painting that displays Prendergast's "daring musical genius" with color which Phillips greatly admired. It depicts a theme that preoccupied Prendergast during the last decade of his career: a crowd of people at leisure placed within an imaginary, densely forested landscape set against a bay; extending into the water is a promontory containing a house, more people, or trees. Other Predergast painting in The Phillips Collection depict similar themes of leisure. Fantasy is rendered as an open vista with an uninterrupted recession into space, giving the painting a sense of depth. Prendergast painted with measured brushstrokes and rich, though not bold, hues. This painting was seen by Phillips as a synthesis of the decorative and the representative, through Prendergast’s use of simplified and colorful pictorial patterns.

More Works by Maurice Prendergast In the Collection


Autumn
Maurice Prendergast
ca. 1917-ca. 1918
In Luxembourg Gardens
Maurice Prendergast
ca. 1907
On the Beach
Maurice Prendergast
ca. 1907-ca. 1909

Picnic
Maurice Prendergast
ca. 1913-ca. 1916
Snow in April
Maurice Prendergast
ca. 1907
Under the Trees
Maurice Prendergast
ca. 1913-ca. 1915

St. Malo
Maurice Prendergast
ca. 1907
St. Malo
Maurice Prendergast
ca. 1907
Beach with Blue Tree
Maurice Prendergast
between 1917 and 1918