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Frederick Carl Frieseke (American, 1874-1939)


Also known as:  Frieseke, Frederick C.

Birth Place: Owosso (Shiawassee county, Michigan, United States)

Lured from Paris in 1906 by his fellow American expatriate friends Frederick MacMonnies and Stanton Young, Frederick Frieseke and his new bride, Sadie, moved to Giverny, the site of Claude Monet's famous house and gardens around which an Impressionist art colony had been growing for two decades. The culture of Giverny was decidedly leisured and bucolic: the Friesekes played tennis, took tea, boated, strolled along country paths, and attended music parties with a whole host of American artists, including the Ernest Blumenscheins, Theodore Butler, the Karl Buehrs, the Henry Hubells, Lawton Parker, and the Guy Roses. Captivated by Monet's gardens, Frederick and Sadie also spent time shaping their own a sumptuous garden, which they organized by color and texture in order to inspire Frieseke's Impressionist paintings; here, carefully placed green lawn furniture, complementing their yellow house, welcomed guests and models alike.

In this artful Giverny environment, two major shifts occurred in Frieseke's work: first, he abandoned the tonal "color fields" of his Whistler-esque Paris paintings in favor of a more vivid Impressionist palette and broken brushwork. Second, he began painting en plein air, experimenting with the effects of sunlight on his female models, both clothed and unclothed, whom he placed in gardens, on riverbanks, and in boats.

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