17 August 2011

The Master's House

He doesn't even rate an entry in the Grove Dictionary of Art but in his day the American painter Frederick Carl Frieseke (1874-1939)  was the leader of the expatriate art colony that settled in the small Norman village of Giverny.  They all wanted to be near Claude Monet but only Frieseke succeeded in renting the house next door on the River Epte.   
Like his idol, Frieseke painted certain images repeatedly.  Judging by his paintings, Frieseke's wife (who often modeled for him) either possessed several striped dresses or must have become quite bored with wearing the same outfit on so many occasions.
Frieseke's painting of the house is one of his stronger works, as his canvases tended toward the overly  busy.  As you can see from the contemporary photograph below, the house is much the same but the gardens have grown formidable.  Frieseke also liked to set up his easel in the yard by the bank of the Epte and also shared Monet's fascination with all things Japanese.  
The Friesekes came to Giverny in 1906 and stayed for fourteen years.  Then they bought a farm in nearby Mesnil-sur-Blangy where the midwesterner died on the eve of World War II.

1. Frederick Carl Frieseke  - The House at Giverny, 1912, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid.
2. Frederick Carl Frieseke - On The River Epte, undated, Sotheby's, NYC.
3. Jean Baptiste-Leroux - Garden at Giverny,  undated, Collection Jean-Baptiste Leroux, Paris.


Melinda9 said...

Beautiful colors - the one of his wife in the rowboat has a magical, sparkling quality. Another artist I'd never heard of.

Jane said...

Frieseke's work in these two images shows at its best.

Gerrie said...

Stumbling over you this older but interesting posting looking up Academie Julian students. Thanks
Gerrie (aka the linosaurus blog)

Jane said...

Gerrie,thank you. There could be - if there isn't already - a website devoted entirely to artists who studied at Academie Julian.
I first encountered Frieseke's work on a Polish website (I don't understand Polish) but was intrigued that here was an American artist I knew nothing about. The English translation of the site's title is "Green Tea" blog.