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La Faroe, John

LA FAROE, JOHN (1835-1910), American artist, was born in New York, on the 31st of March 1835, of French parentage. He received instruction in drawing from his grandfather, Binsse de St Victor, a painter of miniatures; studied law and architecture; entered the atelier of Thomas Couture in Paris, where he remained a short time, giving especial attention to the study and copying of old masters at the Louvre; and began by making illustrations to the poets (1859). An intimacy with the artist William M. Hunt had a strong influence on him, the two working together at Newport, Rhode Island. La Farge painted landscape, still life and figure alike in the early sixties. But from 1866 on he was for some time incapacitated for work, and when he regained strength he did some decorative work for Trinity church, Boston, in 1876, and turned his attention to stained glass, becoming president of the Society of Mural Painters. Some of his important commissions include windows for St Thomas's church (1877), St Peter's church, the Paulist church, the Brick church (1882), the churches of the Incarnation (1885) and the Ascension (1887), New York; Trinity church, Buffalo, and the " Battle Window " in Memorial Hall at Harvard; ceilings and windows for the house of Cornelius Vanderbilt, windows for the houses of W. H. Vanderbilt and D. O. Mills, and panels for the house of Whitelaw Reid, New York; panels for the Congressional Library, Washington; Bowdoin College, the Capitol at St Paul, Minn., besides designs for many stained glass windows. He was also a prolific painter in oil and water colour, the latter seen notably in some watercolour sketches, the result of a voyage in the South Seas, shown in 1895. His influence on American art was powerfully exhibited in such men as Augustus St Gaudens, Wilton Lockwood, Francis Lathrop and John Humphreys Johnston. He became president of the Society of American Artists, a member of the National Academy of Design in 1869; an officer of the Legion of Honour of France; and received many medals and decorations. He published Considerations on Painting (New York, 1895), Hokusai: A Talk about Hoksuai (New York, 1897), and An Artist's Letters from Japan (New York, 1897).

See Cecilia Waern, John La Farge, Artist and Writer (London, 1896, No. 26 of The Portfolio).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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