Charles Webster Hawthorne was a painter who saw beauty in the commonplace and painted his subjects with dignity. Hawthorne worked on the docks and at a stained glass factory while completing his studies at the Art Students League and the National Academy of Design. He later studied with William Merritt Chase, and would help him found the Chase School in New York. Hawthorne was drawn to Flemish and Dutch masters, particularly Frans Hals and Rembrandt van Rijn. When he later established the Cape Cod School of Art, he would frequently paint local inhabitants and fishermen. Hawthorne believed in painting from life, and taught his students to paint rapidly with an emphasis on color instead of form. His own technique involved layering unblended colors in his pursuit to capture natural light.