"The Brahmns Waltz" by Robert McGill Mackall

Robert McGill Mackall (1889–1982)
The Brahms Waltz
Oil on canvas
32 1/8 x 39½ inches
Museum purchase; 1995.010

In The Brahms Waltz, Robert McGill Mackall presents an interior view with an elegant lady playing the piano. We see the solid forms of furniture, piano, and the well appointed accessories of a beautiful room. Through the open windows, bright light filters through the trees, creating a backdrop with a feel of stained-glass.

Mackall's style may be best described as late American impressionism. A revolutionary style that had begun in France in the 1860s, impressionism became widely accepted in America by the 1880s. By the century's end impressionism in America incorporated a wide variety of styles. A painting characterized by a light and colorful palette was deemed an impressionist work. Using this criterion, Mackall's painting The Brahms Waltz is a fine example of an American impressionist work.