Brett, Harold Mathews (American 1880-1955) Oil on board, depicting a young boy blowing a red balloon, signed in red lower left: "Harold Brett", American, circa 1930. The young boy appears to be about seven years of age. He is wearing a brim cap which has a red pin with white lettering stating: "I'LL SAY SO" and a second round pin which is red, white and blue in the style of the French flag. The boy's face is painted in outstanding detail. His hair is creeping below the cap covering his forehead and his blue eyes are glistening. His cheeks are filled with air and are rosy red as he is blowing a balloon. His two hands are clasping the end of the balloon which is set into his mouth. The red balloon is enormous and gives the appearance of being three dimensional. The background is painted with tones of white and biege with a thickened impasto given the appearance of a plaster wall. For effect the artist's has left some of the board unpainted particularly around his stylized signature. The painting has a very illustrated quality and is reminisent of the works of Norman Rockwell. (PA-677)
Note: Harold Brett was born in 1880 and studied painting at the school of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston under Philip Hale and Frank Benson. Later he studied at the New York Art Student's League and then at 26 under Howard Pyle of Delaware known as the "Father of American Illustration." Brett began his career as a magazine illustrator. His works appeared in several publications including Ladies' Home Journal and on covers of the Saturday Evening Post. For years Brett collaborated with the author, Joseph C. Lincoln and illustrated his books. At the Chatham Historical Society Atwood House Museum a Brett painting done in 1943 featuring Joseph C. Lincoln. Both men were born on Cape Cod and each had homes in Chatham.