Frederick Carl Frieseke
1874-1939 | American
Signed "F.C. Frieseke" (lower left)
Oil on board
Frederick Carl Frieseke's Siesta is an exceptional example of the American artist's distinctive Impressionist style. The artist's superb treatment of color, texture and the subtlety of Impressionist light is fully on display in the exceptional composition. Frieseke is celebrated for his intimate compositions of women such as this, and he captured them in gardens and domestic interiors throughout his career. In Siesta, his artfully posed subject is modernized thanks to Frieseke's remarkable eye for pattern and color.
Frieseke's depictions of women show his lifelong obsession with both the effects of lighting and the Impressionistic technique. His subject in the present work reveals both of these aesthetic tendencies. She is captured in a spectacularly decorated room, her blue gown flowing over a patterned chaise as she rests on this sunny afternoon. Frieseke positions her near a large open window, allowing him to capture the bright beams of sunlight that filter through the glass panes into the room. The artist is particularly renowned for his ability to render patterns, and this oil is filled with them - the patterns of furniture, patterns of curtains, patterns of a rug, patterns of light and shade. Overall, it is a superb example of Frieseke's distinctive stylistic interest and his important contributions to American Impressionism.
Born in Michigan in 1874, Frieseke studied his craft at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. After briefly studying in New York, he moved to Paris in 1897 like many artists of his generation. There, he studied at the Académie Julian, where he worked under Benjamin Constant and Jean-Paul Laurens. In the ensuing years, he began to paint the intimate views of women in their boudoirs that would come to dominate his output throughout his career.
Frieseke first visited the artist colony in Giverny in 1900, and just five years later, he would settle there. The work he created while in Giverny was among the most significant of his career. He and his wife frequently visited Claude Monet, who was a close neighbor, though they more commonly discussed gardens than their artwork. In 1920, Frieseke was appointed a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, a remarkable achievement for an American painter. Today, his works can be found in museums around the world, including the Detroit Institute of the Arts, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Museum of Fine Arts (Houston), and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (Madrid).
This oil will be included in Nicholas Kilmer's forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist's work.
Board: 18 3/8" high x 20" wide
Frame: 23 5/8" high x 25 1/8" wide