La Farge often painted the scenery in and around Newport, Rhode Island, where he maintained a residence from 1859 to 1879. One of his favorite subjects was Bishop Berkeley’s Rock, which terminates a ridge in Paradise Hills. This view of the rock appeared under its present title in 1884 at a sale of the contents of La Farge’s studio. The artist’s failure to show the painting earlier implies that he did not consider it finished; the rough brushwork and sketchy surface—in places, little more than a wash of thinned oil paint over the canvas—support that notion.
Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings
Signature: [at lower left]: J. La Farge / Newport 1868
the artist, until 1884; sale, Ortgies and Company, New York, 17 Apr. 1884, no. 23; Charles de Kay, New York, 1884–died 1935; his wife, Mrs. Charles de Kay, New York, 1935–1949; Frank Jewett Mather Jr., Princeton, New Jersey, 1949
Artist:John La Farge (American, New York 1835–1910 Providence, Rhode Island) Date:ca. 1881–82Medium:Watercolor and graphite on heavy white paper mounted on tan cardboardAccession:2001.378On view in:Not on view
Artist:John La Farge (American, New York 1835–1910 Providence, Rhode Island) Date:1909Medium:Graphite, fixative layer, on off-white wove paper, laid down on pulpboardAccession:45.56On view in:Not on view