SOLD Still Life of Easter Lilies

by John La Farge (1835–1910)
Watercolor and pencil on paper
19⅝ x 13¾ inches (sight size)
Signed and inscribed upper left: J. La Farge N.A.; signed lower left: La Farge


Thomas Colville Fine Art, New York, New York

Wolf Family Collection, Texas, acquired from above, June 8, 1987

Sale, Modern America: The Wolf Family Collection, Sotheby’s, New York, New York, April 20, 2023, lot 436, from above


Doll & Richards Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts, Catalogue of Oil and Water Color Paintings and Sketches by John La Farge, N.A., March 18–April 1, 1909

The Jordan-Volpe Gallery, New York, New York, Nature Vivante: The Still Lifes of John La Farge, April 28–June 9, 1995

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York, American Wing: Aesthetic Movement Gallery, 2019–2020 (on loan)


Catalogue of Oil and Water Color Paintings and Sketches by John La Farge, N.A. (Boston: Doll & Richards, 1909), no. 58.

James L. Yarnall, Nature Vivante: The Still Lifes of John La Farge (New York: The Jordan-Volpe Gallery, Inc., 1995), 48, 138, no. 65.

Related Works

Apple Blossoms, ca. 1879, watercolor on paper, 10 1/16 x 7⅝ inches; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts

Wild Roses and Irises, 1887, gouache and watercolor on paper, 14½ x 10 7/16 inches; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York

Wild Roses, ca. 1895, watercolor on paper attached to board, 12 7/16 x 9 5/16 inches; Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts

Note: Following his wedding, in 1860,  John La Farge began creating an increasing number of still-life paintings, including a variety of flowers. The artist described:

“My paintings of flowers was in great part a study; that is, a means of teaching myself many of the difficulties of painting, some of which are contradictory, as, for example, the necessity of extreme rapidity of workmanship and very high finish. Many times in painting flowers I painted right on without stopping, painting sometimes far into the night or towards morning while the flower still retained the same shade, which it was sure to lose soon.”[1]

[1] Royal Cortissoz, John La Farge: A Memoir and a Study (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1911), 135.

Artist Biography

American Painter, Muralist, Stained Glass Decorator, Teacher, and Writer

By Margarita Karasoulas

Recognized as the “Renaissance Man” of his time, John La Farge is celebrated as one of the most innovative and versatile artists in nineteenth century American art.

I. Biography
II. Chronology
III. Collections
IV. Exhibitions
V. Memberships
VI. Notes
VII. Suggested Resources

I. Biography

Born in New York City in 1835 into a wealthy, cosmopolitan family of French descent, La Farge’s intellectual curiosity and artistic proclivity was fostered from an early

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