William Merritt Chase was an American painter, known as an exponent of Impressionism and as a teacher. He is also responsible for establishing the Chase School, which later would become Parsons School of Design.
Chase studied at the National Academy of Design in New York City and under Karl von Piloty for six years in Munich. He worked for a time in the grays and browns of the Munich school, but in the 1880s he took up a lighter palette, which was then popular in Paris. An extremely effective teacher, Chase taught many pupils, first at the Art Students League of New York and then at his own school in New York City. He is best known for his portraits and figure studies, his still lifes of dead fish, and his studio interiors. His mature style is notable for its bold and spontaneous brushwork and other marks of virtuoso execution.