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The Antiquary Shop

William Merritt Chase based this subject on sketches he compiled in Venice, during his first, transformatlve European sojourn, frorn 1872 to 1878. The detalls—various art objects and antiques offered for sale—signal the antiquarian interests that Chase developed while abroad. The Antiquary Shop anticipates Chase's paintings of the lavishly decorated New York studio that he established on his return. Although the array of textiles, metalwork, ceramics, and paintings in this scene represent the kind of objects sought by late nineteenth-century collectors, the figures, dressed In the costume of the Napoleonic era, lend It a historical air.


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