Frederick Childe Hassam’s “Spring Morning in the Heart of the City” gives us an overcast, lush view of Madison Square Park’s (yes, once the center of New York!) carriage traffic and well-dressed pedestrians.
Hassam frequently painted Madison Square; this elite area of the Gilded Age city was near his studio on 17th Street.
“While discussing the picture in 1892, Hassam said his intention was to focus upon the group of cabs in the foreground and to have ‘the lines in the composition radiate and gradually fade out from the centre.’” states the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
“He also noted that ‘all those people and horses and vehicles didn’t arrange themselves for my especial benefit. I had to catch them, bit by bit, as they flitted past.’”