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Allegro Giocoso

Augustus Vincent Tack ( before 1918 )

Collection item 1869
  • Period Twentieth-Century
  • Materials Oil on cardboard mounted on plywood panel
  • Object Number 1869
  • Dimensions 15 x 30 in.; 38.1 x 76.2 cm.
  • Credit Line Acquired 1917

Sometime after 1911 Tack’s style began to shift. He began to apply his colors in a manner that playfully stitched a network of staccato dashes laid on the canvas in thick impasto somewhat reminiscent of Prendergast. This style is evident in Allegro Giocoso where he works with unblended pigments thickly laid in side by side in horizontal or radiating daubs to create a jewel-like effect. In this painting he records his family life in Deerfield, depicting not only his wife and children, but even the family dog. The pastoral and intimate mood of the canvas is enhanced by the twilight sky painted with soft tones of white fading to pink.

Tack’s pointillist technique in this work relates not only to Prendergast, but also to the French artist Georges Seurat and to Vincent van Gogh. Tack understood the “neoimpressionist” origins of his technique, writing: “Colors…placed in juxtaposition, pure and broken…at a certain focus…mix in the eye, give a sensation of solidity and envelopment more vivid and vital than conventional painting.” He traveled to France in this period to absorb first hand the more recent avant-garde styles.