John La Farge

(1835-1910)

John La Farge was a leading artist of the Aesthetic Movement as well as a pioneer of the mural revival. La Farge was also a very important art critic. He attended Mt. Saint Mary's College and briefly studied law. In 1856 he went to Europe to study the arts. From 1859-67, La Farge produced some important floral still lifes in oil that truly capture light quality. His trip to Europe in 1872 reinforced his interest in stain glass and mural decoration and was he was given the opportunity to take charge of the interior decorating of Trinity Church in Boston. This project resulted in many more mural decorations of churches. His masterpiece "Ascension" on the end wall of the Church of the Ascension in New York was completed in 1885. La Farge also created work for the Courthouse of Baltimore and the Capitol Building in St. Paul, MN. He also experimented with glass overlay in opaque pieces. In 1878 La Farge created the Battle Window in the Memorial Hall at Harvard. He later produced some impressive panel series for Cornelius Vanderbilt and William Whitney. La Farge produced several thousand windows in all. His lectures were published as "The Higher Life of Art" (1908). La Farge died in 1910.