Sojourn to Italy, 1898
In 1898, with possible financial assistance from Boston-based friend and patron, Sarah Choate Sears (who was likely repaid in art), Maurice traveled to Italy, where he visited Venice, Siena, Florence, Orvieto, Padua, Rome, Naples, and Capri over the course of nearly eighteen months.
Upon arriving in Venice, Maurice immersed himself in the city’s art and architecture, studying the work of Renaissance masters, including Tintoretto and Vittore Carpaccio, and visiting the Accademia Gallery and the Doge’s Palace. Maurice’s paintings of Venice are among the most colorful and charming works of his career. Impressive in their depiction of intricate architecture and city squares, these paintings perfectly capture the city’s teeming crowds, the pageantry on and along the sparkling canals and lagoons, and the familiar sights of Venice, such as the Piazza San Marco and the Rialto Bridge.
These works represent a continuation of Maurice’s Boston style and subject matter, while reflecting a growing maturity and ease in the artist’s skill. His Venice works reveal an increase in figurative movement, fluidity of gesture, a growing emphasis on decorative detail, and an intensification of color, all of which convey the dynamic beauty of the city itself.