William Merritt Chase created this pastel on paper, “Mrs. Chase and Child (I’m Going to See Grandma),” in the late 1880s, a few years after he married one of his longtime models, Alice Gerson, and about two years after the birth of their first child, who was also named Alice.
“Grandma” was Chase’s own mother, Sarah Swain Chase, who, over the objections of his father, had encouraged him to study art as a boy.
Chase often painted his wife and their many children in the family’s homes in New York City and Southampton, N.Y.
He never earned a comfortable living and was always scrambling to pay the bills, but he is recognized today as one of the finest American artists of the late nineteenth century.