Frederick Carl Frieseke
About the artist:
Frederick Carl Frieseke (April 7, 1874 – August 24, 1939) was an American Impressionist painter who spent most of his life as an expatriate in France. An influential member of the Giverny art colony, his paintings often concentrated on various effects of dappled sunlight. He is especially known for painting female subjects, both indoors and out. In 1858, Frederick Carl Frieseke's grandparents, Frederick Frieseke and his wife, emigrated from Pritzerbe (near Brandenburg, Germany) with their sons, including Herman Carl. They settled in the small central Michigan town of Owosso. Herman served in the Union Army then returned to Owosso, where he established a brick manufacturing business. He married Eva Graham and in 1871 their daughter Edith was born. Their son, Frederick Carl, was born in Owosso in 1874. Eva died in 1880 when Frederick was six years old, and in about 1881 the family moved to Florida. Herman started another brick manufacturing business in Jacksonville. The four years in Florida left an enduring impression on young Frederick; years later, when he contemplated a return to the United States from Europe, he concentrated on Florida. Frederick's aunt recounted how, unlike most boys, he was interested in the arts more than in sports. His grandmother, Valetta Gould Graham, enjoyed painting, and encouraged Frederick in his artistic pursuits. An 1893 visit to the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago also stimulated his desire to become an artist. In 1893, Frieseke graduated from Owosso High School, then began his artistic training at the Art Institute of Chicago, studying with Frederick Warren Freer and John Vanderpoel. After moving to New York in 1895, he resumed his art education at the Art Students League in 1897. He worked as an illustrator, selling cartoons he had drawn to The New York Times, Puck, and Truth. He claimed that he might have curtailed his art education if he had been more successful in that endeavor. The following year, he moved to France, where he would remain, except for short visits to the United States and elsewhere, as an expatriate for the rest of his life. He did continue his education, enrolling at the Académie Julian in Paris, studying under Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant and Jean-Paul Laurens, and receiving criticism from Auguste-Joseph Delecluse. His studies also included some time at Académie Carmen under James Abbott McNeill Whistler. Frieseke visited Holland, including the Katwijk and Laren artist colonies, in the summer of 1898. During this time he sketched and painted in watercolors, and he initially planned to make that his specialty, but he was encouraged by Académie Carmen instructor Frederick William MacMonnies to work in oils. Frieseke discounted his formal art education, referring to himself as self-taught; he felt that he had learned more from his independent study of artists' work than he had from his academic studies. He won many awards during his career. In 1904 he received a silver medal in St. Louis at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition and was awarded a gold medal at the Munich International Art Exposition. He was honored with the William A. Clark Prize at the Corcoran Gallery of Art's 1908 biennial, and the Temple Gold Medal in the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts' annual exhibition of 1913. One of his greatest honors was winning the Grand Prize at the Panama–Pacific International Exposition, which was held in San Francisco in 1915. Among his entries was Summer, now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The New York Times proclaimed in June 1915: "Mr. Frieseke, whose accomplished work is well known to New Yorkers, says the last word in the style that was modern before the Modernists came along. Whatever he does has a sense of design, color, and style. A sense of gayety, an entertaining and well considered pattern, a remarkable knowledge of the effect of outdoor light on color are found in nearly all of his most recent paintings." He received two gold medals from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1920 and he also won the popular prize, decided by artists as well as the viewing public. Frieseke was elected an Associate of the National Academy of Design (ANA) in 1912, and an Academician (NA) in 1914. He was decorated as a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour in 1920, a rare recognition for an American painter.
Frederick Carl Frieseke (April 7, 1874 – August 24, 1939) was an American Impressionist painter who spent most of his life as an expatriate in France. An influential member of the Giverny art colony, his paintings often concentrated on various