Frederick Carl Frieseke (1874–1939)

Lady in a Garden, c. 1912

Oil on canvas, 31 7/8 x 25 3/4 in. (81.0 x 65.4 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1999.52

Frederick Carl Frieseke was a prominent member of the group of American artists who settled in Giverny in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Spending every summer between 1906 and 1919 in the small village northwest of Paris, he produced colorful portrayals of women in tasteful interiors and flower-filled gardens. In Lady in a Garden, a woman—standing in what was probably the artist’s garden in Giverny—is barely distinguishable from the luxuriant vegetation surrounding her. Flowers and foliage fill the composition, nearly overwhelming the image. Frieseke’s brushstrokes mimic the shimmering effect of the sun’s bright light on verdant textures and eliminate any sense of depth. Taking impressionist ideas to the limit, he produced an all-over composition that may indicate an embrace of aesthetic principles developed in the 1890s by a group of French artists known as Les Nabis who emphasized pure pattern, expressive color, and decorative design.

Learn more about this painting on the Terra Foundation website.