Auctioneers and Appraisers

John La Farge (American, 1835-1910) On the Bayou Teche, Louisiana






American & European Works of Art - 3029B
Date / Time :
September 27, 2017 4:00PM


John La Farge (American, 1835-1910)

On the Bayou Teche, Louisiana
Signed "John La Farge" l.r., titled and dated ".../circa 1860" on a label from Spanierman Gallery, New York, affixed to the frame backing.
Oil on canvas, 28 3/4 x 38 3/4 in. (73.0 x 98.4 cm), framed.
Condition: Lined, stretcher replaced, craquelure, retouch.

Provenance: Charles Auction Galleries, Flushing, New York, 1963; by descent to the current private collection, New York.

Literature: Henry Adams, et al., John La Farge, exhibition catalog (Pittsburgh: The Carnegie Museum of Art, 1987), pp. 86-7 (illustrated); John La Farge: An American Master (1835-1910), exhibition catalog (Newport: William Vareika Fine Arts, 1989), no. 3.

Exhibitions: John La Farge: An American Master (1835-1910), William Vareika Fine Arts, Newport, July 14-September 30, 1989.

N.B. John La Farge painted this rare early landscape either while visiting Louisiana in the spring of 1860, or in his studio in New York shortly after his trip south. Journeying by boat down the Mississippi River, he went to Louisiana to visit Margaret Perry (his future wife) who had spent the winter as a guest at the sugar plantation "Oaklawn Manor," at Irish Bend, near the town of Franklin. La Farge had spent the years 1856 and 1857 traveling in Europe and studying art in the Paris studio of Thomas Couture. By 1859, La Farge had made his way to Newport to work with fellow Couture disciple William Morris Hunt. Hunt had also studied with Barbizon artist Jean-François Millet and shared La Farge's interest in the paintings of Millet and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. In a style recalling that of the Barbizon artists, La Farge depicts here two slaves rolling a cask of sugar to a small riverboat. La Farge's grandson, Henry A. La Farge, inspected On the Bayou Teche in 1966 and confirmed its authenticity. He also noted that the artist's sketchbook from the trip to Louisiana included drawings of figures rolling barrels that correspond to this painting (the sketchbook is now lost; however, photographs of the relevant pages from the sketchbook are included with the lot). The artist painted at least one other painting of the Louisiana landscape, On the Bayou Teche, Morning, Louisiana, which is in a private collection. The lot includes a dossier with extensive correspondence regarding the work and its authenticity.
Estimate $70,000-90,000

Framed dimensions: 34 1/2 x 44 1/2 in. Frame labeled House of Heydenryk, New York. Stretcher which is new is inscribed "Marek Woodworking/Blue Point, NY."

Documents regarding past conservations indicate that the painting was lined, cleaned, repaired, and re-varnished in 1964 by Chapellier Gallery, New York; and cleaned, repaired, retouched, re-varnished, re-lined, and the stretcher was replaced by Fodera Fine Art Conservation, New York, in 1990.

The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


Henry A. La Farge, Henry Adams, Jean-Fran, B. John La Farge, Thomas Couture, Margaret Perry, Camille Corot, Flushing, Franklin, Morning, Pittsburgh, Teche, Bayou, Bayou Teche, Geography of the United States, Guggenheim Fellows, John La Farge, Lafarge, Louisiana, Visual arts