Untitled Document

Artist Biography

 Attracted to the freedom of expression and style that was afforded to artists working in France at the turn of the century, Frederick C. Frieseke made the decision to leave the United States in 1898. He is considered a leading figure among the third generation of American artists who settled at Giverny, France after 1900- just making the tail-end of Monet's Impressionist movement before moving into the age of the Post-Impressionists and the Avant-garde.


Frieseke had a dominating style that drove the aesthetic direction of the artists at the Giverny art colony. Once a student briefly of James Abbot MacNeill Whistler, he was determined in carrying on the Whistlerian creed of "Art for Art's and not for Nature's sake". Therefore all that Frieseke could inherit from the old-school Impressionists was their colorful palette and an intrigue in depicting light on the canvas. It was his strong conceptual ideas that moved him, and his art, forward. His solid sense of design and ability to blend his figures with interesting backgrounds and objects helps to classify him as a Post-Impressionist, though he at times in his long career could also be called a Pointillist, a Fauve, or an Academic for his superb draftsmanship and attention to detail.


Frieseke painted women throughout his life, a favorite subject in his oeuvre. His women appeared in numerous settings, either interior or exterior, clothed or nude, and the image he came to be most identified with was the woman absorbed in a gesture of vanity.  And in many of his interior scenes from this time period, he would incorporate the colorful and intricate patterns of rugs, fabrics, or in this instance, wallpaper in the background. Frieseke, an important ex-patriot, remains one of the most sought after artists of the Americans who worked in Giverny.