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Frederick Carl Frieseke - Before Her Appearance

Frederick Carl Frieseke was an American Impressionist painter born in Owosso, Michigan in April 1874. He began his professional life as an illustrator and subsequently decided to become a painter early on in life. His painting "Before Her Appearance" is a part of The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens' permanent collection.

Published December 15, 2012 in Weekend Edition      0 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article




One of the exquisite pieces in The Cummer’s permanent collection is, Before Her Appearance by Frederick Carl Frieseke. Applying the last bit of ardent rouge to her lips before going on stage, a dancer sits on a stool in her dressing room, looking at herself in the mirror. This intimate scene was captured by the American Impressionist artist Frederick Carl Frieseke with a very tender, almost monochromatic palette of pink, pale blue, marble white, and an occasional patch of yellow. This painting was created while Frieseke spent the winter of 1912 on Corsica, an island off the Italian coast. He rented a house and garden there and sent for his favorite model Marcelle, who poses as the dancer in this painting. He wrote to an art dealer that he had nothing prepared for the upcoming Paris Salon exhibition. Nevertheless, Frieseke was able to complete six canvases that winter for inclusion in the Salon that spring. Before Her Appearance was among them and was very well received. It was bought by Mrs. Gertrude Whitney Vanderbilt for her private collection.

Frederick Carl Frieseke was an American Impressionist painter born in Owosso, Michigan in April 1874. He began his professional life as an illustrator and subsequently decided to become a painter early on in life. After graduating High School in 1893, Frieseke went on to study art at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1893 to 1896, followed by a year of instruction at the Art Students League of New York in 1897. Continuing his education, Frieseke moved to Paris in 1898 where he studied at the Acadamie Julian and with James Abbott McNeill Whistler for a short period at the Acadamie Carmen. In 1906, Frieseke moved with his wife to Giverny France, where Claude Monet resided. He rapidly developed a very original aesthetic that would establish him as influential member of the Giverny art colony. Frieseke preferred the attitudes in France to those that he encountered in the United States and spent most of his adult life in Europe, proclaiming, “I stay on here, because I am more free and there are not the Puritanical restrictions which prevail in America… I can paint a nude in my garden or down by the fish pond and not be run out of town.”







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