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Monet to Matisse: Masterworks of French Impressionism is on view now!
William Scharf
Ascending Betrayal
acrylic on canvas
Framed: 66 × 179 inches (167.6 × 454.7 cm)
Credit Line
Museum purchase with funds provided by the Telfair Academy Guild.
Accession Number
For decades William Scharf worked in an abstract style influenced by the abstract expressionists and color-field painters of the New York School. His expressive forms and organic shapes are reminiscent of the surrealist works of Arshile Gorky, but the inherent dynamism of Scharf’s compositions, which incorporate personal symbols and vibrant color, distinguishes his individual style. Drawing upon history, myths, dream imagery, and poetry, his work invites multiple interpretations.

For nearly two decades, Scharf spent his summers working in a studio on Factor’s Walk overlooking the Savannah River. He said of his warehouse studio, “The important thing is that I work here uninterrupted… I’m here from sunup to sunset. I get… a lot of work done here. It’s an acutely important place for me.” The monumental Ascending Betrayal was completed during Scharf’s final summer in Savannah.