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Marsden Hartley
Date: American painter, 1877–1943
Biography: A painter who sought the spiritual essence of nature, Marsden Hartley was one in the circle of artists around Alfred Stieglitz. Born in Maine, Hartley attended the Cleveland School of Art and was awarded a stipend to study art in New York for five years. He studied at the New York School of Art with William Merritt Chase and then at the National Academy of Design. His early landscape paintings reflected the influence of Cézanne, Matisse, and Picasso, artists he learned about from visits to Stieglitz's 291 Gallery. Stieglitz gave him his first solo show in 1909 and another in 1912. The sales allowed him to travel to Europe where he remained until 1915. He visited Paris, London, Munich, and Berlin, meeting many European modernists. Influenced by Der Blaue Reiter group, in Germany, he painted bold abstract paintings, including his famous Portrait of a German Officer. During World War I he remained in the United States, anchored in New York but traveling to Bermuda and New Mexico, which provided inspiration for his landscape and still life paintings. After more years in Europe and in New York, Hartley settled in Maine, where the local people and dramatic, rocky landscape inspired his late work.