John La Farge

American, 1835 - 1910
One of the most creative artists of his day, John La Farge enjoyed a rich and varied career, active as a painter, stained-glass designer, muralist, and illustrator.Born to affluent parents in New York City, he attended Mount St. Mary's College in Maryland and then studied law. In 1856, while visiting Paris, he associated with leading French artists, copied Old Masters in the Louvre, and familiarized himself with modern color theories. He also studied briefly with the painter Thomas Couture, after which time he went to England, where he saw examples of Romantic and Pre-Raphaelite painting. In 1858 he gave up law to pursue an artistic career. He subsequently went to Newport, Rhode Island, where he received instruction from the American Barbizon painter William Morris Hunt, a former Couture student. He also began drawing and painting directly from nature, focusing on landscapes and floral still lifes that in their fluent handling and simplicity of form had a distinctly modern look.During the 1870s and 1880s, he produced oils, watercolors, and book illustrations and executed murals and stained glass designs for religious institutions such as Trinity Church in Boston, as well as for residences belonging to William H. and Cornelius Vanderbilt. On extended trips to the Orient and the South Seas during the 1880s and 1890s, he painted exquisite watercolors. La Farge's Considerations on Painting, based on a series of talks given at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, was published in 1895. Biography courtesy of Roughton Galleries, www.antiquesandfineart.com/roughton
John La Farge Paintings & Art 
John La Farge was a leading artist of the Aesthetic Movement as well as a pioneer of the mural revival. La Farge was also a very important art critic. He attended Mt. Saint Mary's College and briefly studied law. In 1856 he went to Europe to study the arts. From 1859-67, La Farge produced some important floral still lifes in oil that truly capture light quality. His trip to Europe in 1872 reinforced his interest in stain glass and mural decoration and was he was given the opportunity to take charge of the interior decorating of Trinity Church in Boston. This project resulted in many more mural decorations of churches. His masterpiece "Ascension" on the end wall of the Church of the Ascension in New York was completed in 1885. La Farge also created work for the Courthouse of Baltimore and the Capitol Building in St. Paul, MN. He also experimented with glass overlay in opaque pieces. In 1878 La Farge created the Battle Window in the Memorial Hall at Harvard. He later produced some impressive panel series for Cornelius Vanderbilt and William Whitney. La Farge produced several thousand windows in all. His lectures were published as "The Higher Life of Art"(1908). La Farge died in 1910.

Biography courtesy of The Caldwell Gallery, www.antiquesandfineart.com/caldwell
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