John La Farge's Second Paradise Voyages in the South Seas 1890–1891
Artist: John La Farge (1835-1910) was an American painter, muralist, stained glass window maker, decorator, and writer.
Author: Elisabeth Hodermarsky
Essays by: Henry Adams, Elizabeth C. Childs, John Stuart Gordon, and Anna Arabindan Kesson
Publisher/Date: Yale University Art Gallery/Yale Univeristy Press (c. 2010) First Edition. NAP. Exhibition catalog.
Format/Condition: New cloth hardcover book with dust jacket in Fine condition. 224 pages, index; 9.55 x 10.15 inches. Lavishly illustrated in full color with some duotone illustrations. Map of voyages.
Description: In 1890, John La Farge (1835–1910) and his close friend, historian Henry Adams, embarked on a journey to the islands of the South Pacific, where the artist experienced a period of great creative output. This exhibition catalog showcases in full color more than 120 of the most important oils, watercolors, and sketches to come out of La Farge’s two-year voyage to the islands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans and is the first to place the artist’s South Seas work in the broader context of exotic travel by artists and writers of the 19th century. This book juxtaposes his tranquil, realistic portraits of the natives with Post-Impressionist works by Paul Gauguin, who arrived in Tahiti only days after La Farge left. This book offers the first extended comparison of the careers and art of La Farge and Paul Gauguin.
An appreciative essay by Adams is included, as well as texts that explore La Farge's reemergence as a plein air landscape painter, his extensive use of sketches, and his late stained glass work, which was reinvigorated by the light and color he encountered in the South Seas. Discussions examine the prevailing notions of tropical paradise perpetuated since Captain Cook’s “discovery” of Polynesia in the late 18th century. The catalog features many previously unpublished works and this beautiful book is a major contribution to the study of La Farge’s life and art.