The career of the American painter Maurice Prendergast offers a case of an artist who makes his historical debut under circumstances almost comically at odds with the real nature of his sensibilities. For years, "The Eight" was the peg on which Prendergast was left to hang in the history books. Early on in Prendergast's work, he came under the influence of Winslow Homer's plain-spoken watercolor style; later, after immersing himself in the European art scene, he moved more and more into the orbit of Cezannean aesthetics, with its emphasis on a strict painterly architecture. Perhaps Prendergast's limitation as an artist is best understood by dwelling for a moment on his relation to Cezanne, for it was a peculiarly American relation. That indeed is one of the glories of Prendergast's art—that he could draw from Cezanne's strength without sacrificing his own identity or experience.