Art History

Sunlit Impressions: Frederick Carl Frieseke – Master of American Impressionist Art

Frederick Carl Frieseke was an American artist who was born in Michigan in the 1870s but spent most of his career in France studying the great Impressionist painters. He was a part of the Giverny Art colony and focused most of his art on the way sunlight changes the scene. His work won many awards and he was given many honors during his career from American institutions, even though he didn’t reside there. He chose to live as an expatriate in France until his death in the 1930s.

Early Life and Artistic Passion

Born from German immigrant parents, Frieske grew up in a Owosso, small town in central Michigan, and grew up being more interested in arts than athletics like most boys his age. He studied at the Art Institute in Chicago and the Art Students League. Around the turn of the century he moved to France to continue his studies and would live there the rest of his life. Frieske immersed himself in the techniques of the great Impressionist painters of his time, and was a prominent figure in the Giverny Art colony, where he honed his skills and developed his unique style.

Evolution of Artistic Technique

He began his work in sketches and watercolors, but after some encouragement from a fellow artists he eventually began to work in oil paints. Although he has a formal art education, Frieske always described himself as more self-taught. Most of his works are beautiful examples of how outdoor light can effect color.

Sunbath by Frederick Carl Frieseke

Sunbath by Frederick Carl Frieseke

Frieseke chose to live as an expatriate in France for most of his life. He passed away on August 24, 1939, leaving behind a legacy of captivating artworks that continue to inspire art enthusiasts worldwide.

Legacy and Influence

Although his works have hung in some of the most prestigious museums in the world, especially the United States like the American Wing at the Met, you can purchase a brilliant reproduction for your home. Art enthusiasts can appreciate Frieseke’s timeless masterpieces through reproductions that capture the essence of his work. Admire the serene beauty of a woman reading her book in soft evening light in Nasturtiums. A woman in a regal, standing pose can be seen indoors in The Yellow Room and compared to outdoors in Femme dans un Jardin. Soft, evening glow brings out the blue in the woman’s dress in The Birdcage. Sunbath and Lady in the Garden in June are both scenes of a women enjoying a warm seat on the grass on a sunny day.

These and more can be found in the Frederick Carl Frieseke gallery. We hope you find the perfect piece to place in your own home.

About the Author

Amanda graduated from the University of Kansas, where she studied English literature and got a masters degree in library sciences. She enjoys reading, cooking and playing with her nephews. Her best friend is her little dog Brady.