Lot 80
  • 80

Frederick Carl Frieseke

100,000 - 150,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Frederick Carl Frieseke
  • La Coiffure
  • bears estate stamp F.C. Frieseke (lower right)
  • oil on panel
  • 24 by 19 5/8 inches
  • (70 by 49.8 cm)
  • Painted by 1905.


Estate of the artist
Verzariu Associates, Washington, D.C.
Acquired by the present owner from the above, 1984

Catalogue Note

Born in Owosso, Michigan in 1874, Frederick Carl Frieseke began his artistic education at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Students League in New York. He left the United States at the age of twenty-four to study in Paris, away from what he considered the “puritanical restrictions prevailing in America” (William H. Gerdts, American Impressionism, New York, 1984, p. 265). After a brief period of study under the tutelage of Benjamin Constant and Jean-Paul Laurens at Académie Julian and James Abbott McNeill Whistler at the Académie Carmen, he began to spend several months out of every year painting in Giverny. By 1900, Frieseke had established himself in this small village south of Paris and he purchased a home directly next to Claude Monet.  Shortly after his arrival there, Frieseke became the driving force behind a small group of expatriate painters living in the village and working in the Impressionist style.  Frieseke, like many of his contemporaries, focused almost exclusively on painting women, often out of doors in his garden.  On occasion, however, the artist would turn indoors for inspiration and “some of his most sensitive paintings are his interiors with elegant ladies engaged in private, sometimes intimate domestic situations: in reverie, at a dressing table, mending lingerie” (Ibid, p. 265). La Coiffure captures an intimate moment as a woman adjusts her hair in the privacy of her boudoir. While the influence of Monet was a formidable one in Frieseke’s career, many of his early compositions emphatically illustrate his response to the work of James Abbott McNeill Whistler, whose passion for distinctive color arrangements had a lasting influence on Frieseke. As H. Barbara Weinberg observes, “Frieseke may have found Whistler’s devotion to painting a welcome antidote to the many years of instruction in which his teachers had emphasized draftsmanship. He certainly emulated many of Whistler’s stylistic traits in his known works” (as quoted in Frederick Carl Frieseke: The Evolution of an American Impressionist, Savannah, Georgia, 2001, p. 61). The uniform and murky tonalities and broad paint application visible in La Coiffure illustrate Frieseke’s interpretation of Whistler’s distinct aesthetic (Fig. 1).

This painting will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of Frieseke's work being complied by Nicholas Kilmer, the artist's grandson, and sponsored by Hollis Taggart Galleries, New York.