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Frederick Carl Frieseke (1874-1939)
Property of a New York Collector
Frederick Carl Frieseke (1874-1939)

The Lattice Gate

Details
Frederick Carl Frieseke (1874-1939)
The Lattice Gate
signed 'F.C. Frieseke.' (lower right)
oil on canvas
32 x 25 ½ in. (81.3 x 64.8 cm.)
Painted by 1913.
Provenance
The artist.
American Red Cross, gift from the above, 1917.
[With]M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York, circa 1920s.
Private collection, Pacific Northwest.
Estate of the above.
A.J. Kollar, Seattle, Washington, 1985.
Joan Michelman Ltd, New York.
Private collection, Michigan.
Joan Michelman Ltd, New York (as The Latticework).
Acquired by the present owner from the above, 1986.

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Annie Rosen
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Lot Essay

This painting will be included in the Frederick C. Frieseke Catalogue Raisonné being compiled by Nicholas Kilmer, the artist's grandson, with the support of the Hollis Taggart Galleries, New York.


Frederick Carl Frieseke's The Lattice Gate is a superb example of the artist's Impressionist style. Set in Frieseke's garden in Giverny, France, a female figure steps through a doorway of greenery out into the dappled sunshine and dazzling colors of the floral scenery. Executed by 1913, during a period of incredible creative output, the present work was painted when Frieseke had achieved a solid reputation among critics and could relish in the artistic freedom and inspiration he found in the French countryside.

In the summer of 1906, Frieseke settled in Giverny, an artist colony led by French Impressionist Claude Monet that had been favored by American artists, including Theodore Butler, Willard Metcalf, Richard Miller, Theodore Robinson and Guy Rose. Frieseke lived in Robinson's former house, next door to Monet, and the intricate and extravagant garden of the French Impressionist painter had a significant impact on him. Frieseke's own house also had a "beautiful old garden, running riot with flowers, vines and trees," which he often incorporated as a backdrop for his models. (W.H. Gerdts, Monet's Giverny: An Impressionist Colony, New York, 1993, p. 172) Continually inspired by this environment, Frieseke reflected to a visiting New York Times reporter in 1914, “We’ve remodeled the house, decorated it, and with the garden, it serves as my studio from April to December…I have a small room in which I store my canvases and painting traps and show my pictures. But I seldom use it to work in…I never paint inside unless driven in by the weather.” (C.T. MacChesney, “Frieseke Tells Some of the Secrets of His Art,” New York Times, June 7, 1914, sec. 6, p. 7)

This passion for painting en plein air reflects Frieseke’s emphasis on natural sunlight in his work. In his own words, he always chose to paint "sunshine, flowers in sunshine; girls in sunshine; the nude in sunshine." (“Frieseke Tells Some of the Secrets of His Art,” p. 7) In The Lattice Gate, Frieseke delights in the contrast between the play of sunlight off the exposed flowers at right and the shadowed foliage under the archway. The figure’s pale dress and jacket reflect the surrounding blue-green shrubbery as she delicately steps out into the sun. Frieseke’s colorful palette and thick impasto are masterfully executed with a deft handling of short, broken brushstrokes to emphasize the dappled daylight. The brushwork imbues the lush garden with form and texture, creating a patterned harmony reminiscent of the Post-Impressionists. In The Lattice Gate, the vitality of the garden and the quiet moment of the model are poignantly recorded as Frieseke creates an idyllic image that embraces the scene in its most beautiful and picturesque form.

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