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Frederick Carl Frieseke (1874-1939)

Frederick Carl Frieseke was born in Owosso, Michigan. After studying for a short while at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Students League in New York, Frieseke left for France in 1898, and almost all of his career was spent as an expatriate, with ties to the United States maintained through his New York dealer, William MacBeth, and by occasional visits to America.
Following the pattern of innumerable young Americans, he enrolled at the Academie Julian where he studied with Benjamin Constant (1845-1902) and Jean-Paul Laurens (1838-1921).
He appears to have had at least brief contact with and to have been influenced by James McNeill Whistler, who had recently opened his Academie Carmen in Paris.
He married Eva Graham and in 1871 their daughter Edith was born. Their son, Frederick Carl, was born in Owosso in 1874.

By 1900 Frieseke was spending summers in the town of Giverny, made famous by the residence of Monet and subsequently by other artists, among them many Americans. In 1906, the year after his marriage to Sarah O'Bryan, he leased a house once occupied by the American Impressionist Theodore Robinson.
Although the property was adjacent to Monet's, Frieseke had only limited contact with the French master. Instead he apparently found Pierre Auguste Renoir the most influential of all the Impressionists.
Frieseke's Giverny house and garden, as settings for a series of female models, provided nearly all of his subject matter for the next thirty years, although in 1930 he made a series of watercolors of Florida scenes remembered from his childhood and painted some Swiss landscapes. After World War I, the artist and his family settled in Normandy.

Frieseke's career falls roughly into three stages.
In the first, figures most clearly show his academic training and draughtsmanship. Gradually these evolve into the most common images of the next decade, comprised of loosely-applied blotches of bright color.
The vast majority of these show their subjects in the garden, standing among the flowers, taking tea, or just basking in the sun. Others include models in colorful, light-filled interiors.
In Frieseke's latest paintings, the figures very often appear indoors, their forms are given greater solidity, and the brushwork is less broken.

At the height of his career, in the 1910s and early 1920s, Frieseke was perhaps the most popular of all living American artists.
He received numerous awards and medals and saw his work purchased by private collectors and major museums.

Decades after the initial introduction of Impressionism by Monet and his contemporaries, Frieseke assumed this style for his work, choosing to ignore the newer artistic movements of the early twentieth century.

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Nevertheless, his paintings were acclaimed in both the United States and in Europe.
In 1904 he won a silver medal at the St. Louis Universal Exposition and a gold medal at Munich.
He was elected a member of the Société National des Beaux Arts in 1908 and the National Academy of Design in 1912.
Seventeen of his canvases were featured at the Venice Biennale in 1909 and he won the Grand Prize at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915.
He was commissioned to execute several murals, including one for the New York store of John Wanamaker, one of his most loyal patrons.
He died on August 28, 1939, at his home in Normandy, in the town of Le Mesnil sur Blangy. In the decades following his death, however, after artistic tastes had changed considerably, his work was nearly forgotten until it received renewed attention as interest in American Impressionism grew in the 1960s. | © National Gallery of Art Washington, DC

Frederick Carl Frieseke è stato un pittore Statunitense. Fu uno dei maggiori impressionisti Americani.


Frederick Carl Frieseke nacque in una cittadina del Michigan, figlio del titolare di un'impresa edile. Dopo la morte della madre nel 1881 la famiglia si trasferì in Florida e tornò nel Michigan solo nel 1892. Frederick iniziò allora i suoi studi d'arte presso l'Art Institute of Chicago, dove rimase per quattro anni, per poi recarsi a New York alla Art Student League, dove restò sino al 1897.
Nel 1898 partì per la Francia, e vi rimase tutta la vita, pur continuando a tornare spesso in patria in occasione delle sue mostre o per particolari lavori. A Parigi si iscrisse all'Académie Julian ed ebbe come maestri Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant e Jean-Paul Laurens.
Nel 1899 si recò a Étaples e a Montreuil-sur-Mer dove si erano formate delle piccole colonie di artisti americani. A Montreuil lavorò usando tinte neutre e piuttosto scure, dai contrasti poco marcati, che in seguito avrebbe decisamente abbandonato.
Il suo primo mecenate e "agente" fu Rodman Wanamaker, un ricco americano di New York che curò i suoi interessi in America. Ma Frieseke viveva ormai tutto l'anno a Parigi, e nel 1900 cominciò a trascorrere l'estate a Giverny, dove affittò una casa adiacente a quella di Claude Monet.

L'anno seguente, con l'inizio del nuovo secolo, espose per la prima volta alla Société nationale des Beaux-Arts.
Dopo diverse altre mostre importanti di successo (Expo di Saint Louis, Expo di Monaco, ed altre), nel 1909 si presentò con 17 opere alla Biennale di Venezia e nel 1910 i suoi quadri furono presenti alla Madison Art Gallery di New York, assieme a quelli del "Gruppo di Giverny".

Nel 1912 realizzò la sua prima "personale" alla Macbeth Gallery e, in Francia, ricevette la Legion d'Onore.
Sempre lo stesso anno Frieseke si trasferì da Parigi a Mesnil-sur-Blangy, in Normandia, dove aveva acquistato una fattoria.
Trascorse lì molti anni e, quando cominciò a desiderare di tornare in America, si ammalò.
Frederick Frieseke morì nella sua fattoria di Mesnil-sur-Blangy il 28 agosto del 1939, all'età di 65 anni. | © Wikipedia

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