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The Cover
October 1, 2008

West Church, Boston

JAMA. 2008;300(13):1494. doi:10.1001/jama.300.13.1494

Attributes describing Maurice Brazil Prendergast (1858-1924) include “modest,” “confident,” “introverted,” and “talented.” However, no one word sums up the works of the New England Impressionist and Modernist painter better than a single bon mot: color. Prendergast used color to express his art the way Cézanne used composition or Whistler the brush stroke. Color dominates Prendergast's watercolors and oils painted in locales that include Paris, New York, Boston, and Venice. Often figures in his paintings resemble popped corn kernels suffused with shades of yellow, gold, green, and blue: the vibrance of dresses, hats, and umbrellas takes precedence over details of faces and personalities.