JOHN LA FARGE (1835-1910)
JOHN LA FARGE (1835-1910)
JOHN LA FARGE (1835-1910)
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JOHN LA FARGE (1835-1910)
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JOHN LA FARGE (1835-1910)

Water-Lilies. Red and Green Pads. Study from Nature

JOHN LA FARGE (1835-1910)
Water-Lilies. Red and Green Pads. Study from Nature
watercolor and gouache on paper
image, 8 x 12 in. (20.3 x 30.5 cm.);
sheet, 9 3/4 x 12 in. (24.8 x 30.5 cm.)
Executed in 1883.
The artist.
Doll & Richards, Boston, Massachusetts, 1890.
Mr. and Mrs. Joshua Montgomery Sears, Boston, Massachusetts, acquired from the above, 1890.
Mrs. J.D. Cameron Bradley, Southborough, Massachusetts, daughter of the above, 1935.
M. Knoedler & Co., New York, acquired from the above, 1959.
Mrs. Norman B. Woolworth, New York and Monmouth, Maine, acquired from the above, 1960.
R. Frederick Woolworth, New York, son of the above, 1994.
Sarah Mleczko Fine Art, New York, acquired from the above, 1994.
Manoogian Collection, Detroit, Michigan, acquired from the above, 1994.
Sotheby's, New York, 24 May 2001, lot 8, sold by the above.
Acquired by the late owner from the above.
"Many Bidders at a Sale of Paintings," New York Tribune, March 27, 1885, p. 2.
"La Farge's Works at Auction," New York Times, March 27, 1885, p. 8.
"The Fine Arts: The Loan Collection of Watercolors at the St. Botolph Club--First Article," Boston Evening Transcript, December 9, 1891, p. 8.
H. La Farge, Manuscript Catalogue of the Works of John La Farge, La Farge Papers, Yale University Library, New Haven, Connecticut, 1935.
S.W. Reed, C. Troyen, Awash in Color: Homer, Sargent, and the Great American Watercolor, Boston, Massachusetts, 1993, p. xxiv.
"The Still Lifes of John La Farge at Jordan-Volpe Gallery," Antiques and The Arts Weekly, April 21, 1995, p. 86.
A. Page, "Stateside," Antique Collector, vol. 66, May 1995, p. 32.
New York, Moore's Art Gallery, A Collection of Oil and Water Color Paintings, by John La Farge, March 26-27, 1885, no. 12 (as Water Lilies in black water. Study from nature.).
Boston, Massachusetts, Doll & Richards, Drawings, Watercolors, and Paintings by Mr. John La Farge on Exhibition and Sale, January 25-February 6, 1890, no. 1.
Boston, Massachusetts, St. Botolph Club, Regular Water-Color Exhibit, March 1890, no. 36.
Chicago, Illinois, World's Columbian Exposition, May 1-October 30, 1893, no. 1318.
New York, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Paintings, Studies, Sketches and Drawings, Mostly Records of Travel 1886 and 1890-91 by John La Farge, February 25-March 25, 1895, no. 225.
Boston, Massachusetts, Museum of Fine Arts, La Farge Memorial Exhibition, January 1-31, 1911.
Boston, Massachusetts, Museum of Fine Arts, Prints and Drawings by Winslow Homer and John La Farge, June 25-August 2, 1936.
New York, Coe Kerr Gallery, 150 Years of American Still-Life Painting, April 27-May 16, 1970, no. 29, illustrated.
New York, Coe Kerr Gallery, The American Painting Collection of Mrs. Norman B. Woolworth, November 10-28, 1970, no. 73.
Washington, D.C., National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, The Carnegie Museum of Art; Boston, Massachusetts, Museum of Fine Arts, John La Farge, July 10, 1987-April 24, 1988, pp. 141, 264, no. 59, fig. 105, illustrated (as Water Lilies in Black Water. Study from Nature (Water Lilies. Red and Green Pads.)).
New York, The Jordan-Volpe Gallery, Inc., Nature Vivante: The Still Lifes of John La Farge, April 28-June 9, 1995, pp. 50, 110, 142, no. 75, pl. 43, illustrated.
Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, American Watercolors and Pastels, 1875-1950, April 8-June 25, 2006.

Brought to you by

Tylee Abbott
Tylee Abbott Vice President, Head of American Art

Lot Essay

John La Farge’s lyrical depictions of water lilies are a signature motif within the artist’s impressive career, which included paintings and watercolors as well as celebrated designs for stained glass windows. On the present work, James L. Yarnall writes, “Water-Lilies. Red and Green Pads. Study from Nature, dated 1883, shows three blossoms in various states of opening. They float within a riot of exotic pads in dark water, one showing a faint white reflection in the red pad that has turned upside down…these works convey the best qualities of La Farge as a watercolorist. With their sinuous liquid patches, close up perspectives, and seemingly unstudied painterly effects, they betray a mastery of the medium that ranks La Farge among the leading practitioners of watercolor in America at the time.” (Nature Vivante: The Still Lifes of John La Farge, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1995, p. 50)

Kathleen A. Foster explains of this period of the artist’s career, “Beginning in 1878-79 and continuing sporadically until his departure for Japan in 1886, La Farge would produce the most beautiful watercolors and some of the finest floral subjects of his career. As one critic remarked in 1884, ‘It is on these modest watercolors that his fame, in the future, promises to rest.’…These floral paintings are decorative in the most pleasant sense. As such, they offered encouragement and established a standard of excellence for every flower painter who showed in, or visited, the watercolor exhibitions after 1878.” (“John La Farge and the American Watercolor Movement: Art for the ‘Decorative Age’,” John La Farge, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1987, p. 140)

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