William Merritt Chase (November 1, 1849 - October 25, 1916) was an American painter known as an exponent of Impressionism and as a teacher.
He was born at Willamsburg, Indiana, and became a pupil of B. F. Hays at Indianapolis, of Eaton in New York, and subsequently of A. Wagner and Piloty in Munich.
In New York he established a school of his own, after teaching with success for some years at the Art Students League. A worker in all media – oils, watercolor, pastel – etching and painting with distinction the figure, landscapes, and still lifes, he is perhaps best known for his portraits, his sitters numbering some of the most important men and women of his time.
Chase won many honors at home and abroad, became a member of the National Academy of Design, New York, and for ten years was president of the Society of American Artists. Among his important canvases are Ready for the Ride (Union League Club, N.Y.), The Apprentice, and Court Jester.
He became a member of the Ten American Painters after John Henry Twachtman died.