John La Farge, A Biographical and Critical Study is the first biography in a century of the American painter, illustrator, muralist, stained-glass artist, and writer. Examining La Farge's career from his youth to his late rebound as a decorative artist-from New York City and New England to Europe to Japan to the South Seas-this is also the only biography to date composed independently of the artist and his estate. Drawing on primary documentation culled from archives and contemporary newspapers and journals, the biography thoroughly documents La Farge's career and artwork. Earlier biographies avoided the darker aspects of his complex and conflicted life, which had dramatic effects on his work. The study also offers critical analysis of the artist's works, showing influences from other artists and giving contemporary and modern responses. La Farge authority James L. Yarnall scrutinizes how posterity has viewed the artist throughout the century since his death. The book is copiously illustrated with black-and-white and color images.
James L. Yarnall is an Associate Professor in the Department of Art at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island, where he teaches the history of art and architecture. He is also Editor of Publications for the Newport Historical Society, including its journal, Newport History.
Contents: Preface; Introduction; A dilettante, 1835-1855; European Wanderjahr, 1856-1857; The Newport period, 1859-1873; Early decorative work, 1873-1885; Japan, 1886; A new start, 1887-1890; The South Seas, 1890-1891; International fame, 1892-1900; A career ends, 1900-1910; The written word; Notes; Bibliography; Index.