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    Description

    Frederick Carl Frieseke (American, 1874-1939)
    En Promenade, 1908
    Oil on canvas
    25-3/8 x 30-7/8 inches (64.5 x 78.4 cm)
    Signed lower left: F. C. Frieseke.

    PROVENANCE:
    The artist;
    Estate of the above, 1939;
    Frances Frieseke Kilmer, the artist's daughter;
    Mr. and Mrs. Sheldon Keck, 1966;
    Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York, 1968 (as Women with Parasols (Pollard Willows));
    Nancy Wood Holmes, Lansing, Michigan, acquired from the above, circa 1960s;
    Estate of the above;
    Private collection, East Lansing, Michigan, acquired from the above;
    By descent to the present owner.

    Frederick Carl Frieseke's En Promenade is an exquisite example of the intimism and sunlit Impressionism practiced by the American artists in Giverny. With its color drenched arrangement and beautiful tonal harmonies, En Promenade demonstrates Frieseke at the height of his abilities.

    Frieseke was one of the leading figures among the second generation of American expatriates in France. He first studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Students League in New York before leaving for Paris in 1898 to continue his studies. There Frieseke enrolled at the Académie Julian and at the Académie Carmen, James McNeill Whistler's short-lived school. Whistler's passion for Japanese art, for decoration, and for distinctive color arrangements had a lasting influence on Frieseke's work. By 1900, Frieseke was spending summers in Giverny and, after achieving artistic and financial success, was able to purchase a home there in 1906. He chose American Impressionist Theodore Robinson's former house next door to Claude Monet.

    Like Monet, Frieseke found inspiration in the local landscape and the sunshine. Monet's famed lush and intricate garden had a significant impact on Frieseke, whose home also had a beautiful garden that served as subject matter for many of his compositions. Aileen O'Bryan, Frieseke's niece, articulately describes the magnificence and variety of the garden, "I can close my eyes now and see them against the tall spikes of delphinium and the big pink roses. Around them were clumps of sweet William and daisies, yellow and white; there were marigold, calendula, campanula, and snapdragon. The poppies and lilies were through blooming; but the hollyhocks, shading from pale yellow through deep scarlet, made a tapestry of radian colors" (as quoted in Frederick Carl Frieseke: The Evolution of an American Impressionist, Princeton, New Jersey, 2001, p. 87).

    Painted in 1908 at the pinnacle of the artist's talents, En Promenade captures the vitality of the French landscape and depicts one of Frieseke's favored compositions - elegantly dressed women at leisure in his garden. He uses Impressionistic brushstrokes paired with color and pattern to infuse the composition with delicate rays of light that settle on the grass and the women's parasols. Frieseke's interest in the effects of sunlight began in Giverny and remained with him throughout his career. The artist elaborated on this in a 1914 interview, "It is sunshine, flowers in sunshine, girls in sunshine, the nude in sunshine, which I have principally been interested in for eight years and if I could only reproduce it exactly as I see I would be satisfied... If you are looking at a mass of flowers in the sunlight out of doors you see sparkle of spots of different colors; then paint them in that way... The effect of impressionism in general has been to open the eyes of the public to see not only the sun and light, but the realization that there are new truths in nature" (as quoted in C.T. MacChesney, "Frieseke Tells Some Secrets of His Art," The New York Times, June 7, 1914).

    This painting will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of Frieseke's work being complied by Nicholas Kilmer, the artist's grandson, and sponsored by Hollis Taggart Galleries, New York.


    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2019
    3rd Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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