P04 Abbott Fuller Graves

Abbott Fuller Graves, In a Field of Flowers

Abbott Fuller Graves, In a Field of Flowers, signed Abbot Graves and dated 1890 lower left, oil on canvas, 48" x 72 1/4". Abbott Fuller Graves was among the first wave of Americans to go to France and study impressionism under Monet. He was a close friend of Child Hassam. The theme of the flower garden is closely identifed with Monet and the subject was occasionally painted by the first Giverny artists, although it would become a favorite motif of their successors in the early 20th century. Flower gardens were also frequently depicted by some of the New York based impressionists such as Hassam in their summer work. Graves had studied with the well known French flower painter, Georges Jeannin in 1884 and roomed with Tarbell. Within his chosen genre, his range was enormous, gardens both empty and with figures tending the flowers, such as this painting, In a Field of Flowers which he painted in Paris in 1890. Formerly titled Panier des fleurs, is an early work painted in France and is more structured than most of Graves floral subjects with a rather primly dressed gardener in white contrasted effectively with a sumptutous floral display with his frilly brush techinique, and given the requisite elements of sunshine and color, this painting by Graves shares many of the strategies of Impressionism.

Provenance: The New England Library until 1979, when it was purchased by Vose Galleries, Boston; Hunter Art Gallery, San Francisco, 1980; private collection Monterey, California, 1981; Hirsch! & Adler Galleries, New York, who sold it to Daniel J. Terra, Chicago, who acquired it from the above in 1987. I purchased it from Sotheby's, Sale 6713, May 25,1995, Lot 13.

Exhibition: Kennebunk, Maine, The Brick Store Museum, Abbott Fuller Graves, 1859-1936, illustrated pg. 5, 1979. Listed in Lasting Impressions: American Painters in France 1865-1915, Giverny, France, Musee Americain, 1992, illustrated pg. 80, figure 76.