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John LaFarge (American, 1835-1910) The Enchantress

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American & European Works of Art - 2371
Date / Time :
September 07, 2007 12:00PM


John LaFarge (American, 1835-1910)

The Enchantress
Unsigned, identified on a presentation plaque and a label from The Hudson River
Museum, Yonkers, New York, affixed to the reverse.
India ink on uncut woodblock, 6 3/4 x 5 1/2 in. (17.2 x 14.0 cm), framed.
Condition: Splits to panel, not examined out of frame.

N.B. John LaFarge was a 'Renaissance Man' and leading American artist of the Aesthetic movement. He worked in a variety of media which combined elements from disparate artistic styles. It is in his illustrations that we see the influence of Japanese prints and the English Pre-Raphaelite movement. Kathleen Foster writes, 'La Farge's interest in illustration dated from the 1850s, along with his early study of Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites, but his serious work along such lines began after a lengthy illness in 1865-1867 forced him to give up outdoor work.'1 His fantastical illustrations were considered somewhat gothic with a distinct Japanese influence, and used Japanese painting techniques to create a softness and instill a sense of mystery. 'La Farge introduced a new mood of imaginative fantasy into American illustration. Often he dealt with terrifying themes, such as danger, abandonment, [and] strange encounters...'2

1. Adams, Henry, et al., John LaFarge, (New York: Abbeville Press, 1987), p. 132.

2. Ibid, p. 34.

Estimate $15,000-25,000

The work is framed under glass and has not been examined out of its frame. In addition to two horizontal splits to the pannel, there is perhaps some mild scattered soiling/staining.

The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


B. John LaFarge, John LaFarge, Yonkers, The Hudson River Museum, Hudson River, India, Aesthetic, English Pre-Raphaelite, Kathleen Foster, lengthy illness, Abbeville Press, Illustration, Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood