Franz Arthur Bischoff (1864-1929) Trimming the Wisteria (in Bischoff's backyard) 30 x 21in framed 40 x 32in

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Lot 61
Franz Arthur Bischoff
Trimming the Wisteria (in Bischoff's backyard) 30 x 21in framed 40 x 32in

Sold for US$ 250,075 inc. premium
Franz Arthur Bischoff (1864-1929)
Trimming the Wisteria (in Bischoff's backyard)
signed 'Franz A. Bischoff' (lower right)
oil on canvas
30 x 21in
framed 40 x 32in


  • Provenance
    Estate of the artist.
    Peabody Antiques, Sacramento, California.
    George Stern Fine Arts, West Hollywood, California.
    Private collection, Northern California.
    Thence to the present owner.

    Irvine, Gardens and Grandeur, Porcelains & Paintings by Franz A. Bischoff, The Irvine Museum, November 12, 2011 - March 8, 2012.

    Scott Shields, Franz A. Bischoff, the Life & Art of an American Master, Irvine, 2010, illustrated in color, p. 53.

    Franz Bischoff was born in the small town of Bomen, Austria in 1864. He demonstrated an early artistic inclination and took his initial training in Bomen. Bischoff continued his studies in Vienna, focusing on applied design, watercolor painting, and ceramic decoration. Following a short time of study Dresden, Bischoff moved to New York at the age of 21. In the following years he married and moved to Dearborn, Michigan. Bischoff set up his own studio in Michigan where he taught classes and produced painted ceramic work of extraordinary quality. In 1900, Bischoff made a fateful trip to California. He was so impressed by the climate and the scenery that he moved his family to California in 1906. Around this time, Bischoff began intensive easel painting. He completed a new home and studio in South Pasadena in the winter of 1908. Soon afterwards, he advertised an open house to allow the public to view his new and impressive studio. Bischoff had earned enough money from his china paintings and ceramics sales, as well as from teaching, to afford the construction of a large and impressive thirty six by forty foot studio beside the main house.

    In the book Franz A. Bischoff: the Life & Art of an American Master, Jean Stern writes of the Bischoff's: 'The gardens surrounding the house and studio represented an important aspect of Franz Bischoff, the artist, and much thought went into their scope and design. Bischoff devoted a great deal of time to his garden, as the foliage and flowers were a constant inspiration for his porcelains and paintings. He often painted outdoors, and many of these scenes show his wife, Bertha, and his children, Frances and Oscar, enjoying the beautiful flower-filled garden. All along the house side of the garden, Bischoff constructed an array of pergolas that echoed the color and pattern of the trim on the windows and doors. We can tell from a good number of sketches and paintings of his garden that the network of pergolas supported various flowering vines, such as climbing roses and especially wisteria, the unofficial emblem of the Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts movements.

    Trimming the Wisteria (in Bischoff's backyard) is reminiscent of iconic figurative masterworks by East Coast contemporaries William Merritt Chase, Frederick Frieseke and Childe Hassam. The impressionist palette is on full display with Bischoff's wisps of lavender, greens and blues. Bertha's light pink dress balances the composition tastefully, as the wisteria swirls all around her. Bischoff shows off his talents as a pure impressionist painter here remarkably. Perhaps the model was his fiercest critic, so extra care had to be proffered in order to pass muster. At this time, circa 1910, Bischoff is fully ensconced in the American Impressionist, or 'plein air' tradition. In later years his brushwork evolves into a flatter, less active style, but here he is fully ensconced in the new plein air style and his extraordinary talents are in full regalia.
Franz Arthur Bischoff (1864-1929) Trimming the Wisteria (in Bischoff's backyard) 30 x 21in framed 40 x 32in
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