About the Artist
The eldest child in a family of aflluent French immigrants who settled in New York City, John La Farge (1835–1910) was well educated and studying law when he moved to Newport, Rhode Island in 1859 to pursue his interest in painting. The artist cultivated an interest in Japanese art in the late 1960s and explored a highly personal style of still-life and plein-air landscape painting. His wide interests eventually led him to innovations in other media as well, such as stained glass, and he became a leader in the mural movement, executing commissions for churches, government buildings, and opulent private homes.
This print is a reproduction of John La Farge's Flowers on a Window Ledge (c. 1861). This charming still life, created just two years after La Farge took up painting, is primarily a study of color and light. La Farge beautifully renders the effects of sunlight on the white curtain by blending an innovative mix of colors—peach, creamy white, and a light, green-tinged gray—to capture the subtleties of shadow, contour, and light on the fabric. Brushwork, not color or line, distinguishes the curtain from the window ledge and background sky, anticipating modernist art styles such as post-impressionism.
- 11 x 14 inches