Frederick Frieseke demonstrated his mastery of light and color in both landscape and interiors, yet his figural works of nudes painted in plein-air may have provided for him the most personal means of expression. Venus au Soleil, painted in 1913 in Frieseke's garden in Giverny, was exectued as the intial conception for the larger work, Venus in the Sunlight (Manoogian Collection). With its dashing brushwork and vivid sense of light, Venus au Soleil exemplifies the Impressionist plein-air sketch.
Professor William H. Gerdts has written, "Nudes by Frieseke such as these have an element of grandeur that, for all their aesthetic modernity, relates them to the majestic nudes from the era of Titian and Velazquez. They are far more sensual than those by any of Frieseke's fellow colonists. One writer regarded Venus in the Sunlight as 'one of the greatest examples of flesh painting in sunlight I have ever seen.'" (Monet's Giverny: An Impressionist Colony, New York, 1993, pp. 176-77)
This work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonn of Frieseke's work being compiled by Nicholas Kilmer, the artist's grandson.