In 1895 Hassam sailed on a pleasure trip from New York to Cuba aboard a friend’s yacht. On his arrival in Havana, he immediately made studies of Fort Cabanas and other colorful subjects. Taken from a high vantage point—the view from his hotel—Place Centrale describes the palpable heat of a tropical noon. The painting incorporates many of the techniques of Hassam’s European impressionist colleagues: spontaneous brushwork and broken colors, a cropped viewpoint, and unexpected angles of vision. Barely visible among the typically impressionist blue shadows of the trees are a number of sketchily rendered figures.
Artist Childe Hassam, American, 1859-1935
  • Place Centrale and Fort Cabanas, Havana
Date 1895
Medium oil on canvas
Dimensions Unframed: 21 1/4 × 26 1/4 inches (54 × 66.7 cm)
Framed: 32 1/2 × 37 1/2 × 1 7/8 inches (82.6 × 95.3 × 4.8 cm)
Credit Line City of Detroit Purchase
Accession Number 11.5
Department American Art before 1950
On View American W292, Level 2 (see map)
Signed Signed and dated, lower right: Childe Hassam | Habana 1895
Inscriptions Inscribed, lower right: Childe Hassam | Habana 1895
1911-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Burroughs, Clyde. "Contemporary American Art: Childe Hassam." Bulletin of the DMA 7, 3 (July 1913): pp. 54-55 (ill.).

Henshaw, Julia. Detroit Institute of Arts: A Visitor's Guide. Detroit, 1995, pp. 77 (ill.).