Nursemaid and Baby at Gloucester, Massachusetts
Oil on canvas
32 x 40 inches
Signed upper left
Martha Walter was an American Impressionist painter who was known for her beach scenes set in Gloucester, Coney Island, Atlantic City, and the French coast. Born in Philadelphia in 1875, Walter studied art at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts with celebrated painter and teacher William Merritt Chase. In 1903, she earned a Cresson Traveling Scholarship which funded two years of study in Europe.
When Walter returned to Philadelphia, she exhibited many works at the annual Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts exhibitions, featuring scenes and figures from her travels abroad and in the United States. The present work, English Nurse and Baby at Rocky Neck, Gloucester showcases her talent for en plein air painting and a beautiful painterly palette. The painting depicts an anonymous English nurse caring for a rosy-cheeked baby. While the nurse’s back faces the viewer, the baby is painted at center with her fanciful white dress and clutching a delicate silver rattle. Walter exhibited this critically-acclaimed work at the 110th anunal exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1915.