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Frederick Carl Frieseke (American, 1874-1939) Nude (Giverny)

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American & European Works of Art - 2609B
Date / Time :
September 07, 2012 12:00PM


Frederick Carl Frieseke (American, 1874-1939)

Nude (Giverny), c. 1906
Signed "F.C. Frieseke-" l.l.
Oil on canvas, 24 x 19 3/4 in. (61.0 x 50.0 cm), framed.
Condition: Good.

Provenance: Everett St. John Chaffee and Caroline Peck Chaffee, Providence and Matunuck, Rhode Island, then by descent to the present owners.

N.B. Born in Michigan in 1874, American Impressionist Frederic Carl Frieseke was a key figure of "The Giverny Group," a cadre of American artists working in France in the early 20th century. Frieseke began his studies at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Students League in New York. In 1897 the young artist was drawn to Paris to study at the Académie Julian and then briefly with James A. M. Whistler at the Académie Carmen. France became his permanent home. Frieseke set up his studio first in Paris and then in 1906, also in Giverny, where he would spend summers until 1920. Art historians have noted that Frieseke effectively synthesized Impressionist style and subject matter with the flattened space and decorative patterning of Post Impressionists, such as Vuillard and Bonnard.

Frieseke realized success early painting the female figure and nudes. The painting at hand was done c. 1906 in Frieseke's first years at Giverny. Influenced by Impressionism and the palettes of Renoir and Monet, Frieseke set his subject outdoors and filled his canvas with sun dappled blues and greens and rosy flesh tones. It is not clear exactly how and when the painting found its way to Rhode Island, but the connection to Matunuck is significant. Everett St. John Chaffee and Caroline Peck Chaffee summered at Matunuck and lived next door to Anna Richards Brewster. Caroline herself was an artist, and the community became a summer artists' colony, modeled on Giverny, largely at the hand of neighbor and former Givernois, Philip Leslie Hale. It is not known if the Chaffees acquired the work directly from Frieseke or through the connections of one of their artist circle at Matunuck.

The painting at hand will be included in The Frederick Carl Frieseke Catalogue Raisonné, being prepared by Nicholas Kilmer with the support of the Hollis Taggart Galleries. The painting will be dated "by 1908."

Estimate $60,000-80,000

With a canvas stencil from Lucien Lefebvre-Foinet, Paris, on the reverse.

Condition is very good, with rich brush marks and impasto intact. No evidence of any retouch. No other condition issues to report.


Frederick Carl Frieseke, Giverny Group, Matunuck, Caroline Peck Chaffee, Paris, Everett St. John Chaffee, Rhode Island, France, Frederic Carl Frieseke, Art Institute of Chicago, Art Students League in New York, James A. M. Whistler, young artist, Anna Richards Brewster, Philip Leslie Hale, Chaffees, Nicholas Kilmer, Lucien Lefebvre-Foinet, American Impressionism, Chaffee, Claude Monet, Giverny, Impressionism