Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Looking to Europe for Inspiration - Versailles painted by American James Carroll Beckwith 1825-1917

James Carroll Beckwith (1852-1917) Bassin de Neptune, Versailles 1913

The only way I can justify posting these paintings on this blog is to say that the artist is American & Versailles lead the way for garden design in England and then on the the British American colonies. It is impossible for a garden historian to stay away from Versailles for very long, and so back we go. I hope you enjoy the trip.
James Carroll Beckwith (1852-1917) Terminal Figure of Ceres 1911

James Carroll Beckwith (1852–1917) was born in Hannibal, Missouri; however, he grew up in Chicago, where his father started a wholesale grocery business.
James Carroll Beckwith (1852-1917) Arcade of the Grand Trianon, Versailles 1913

In 1868 at age 16, he studied art at the Chicago Academy of Design under Walter Shirlaw until the great fire of 1871, destroyed eveything there & much of the heart of the city. He then went to New York to study at the National Academy of Design.
James Carroll Beckwith (1852-1917) Syrinx, Par Maziere, 1689; Bassin d'Apollon 1913

Carroll Beckwith, as he preferred to be called, visited Versailles, France, in 1911 & 1913, where he created about 22 paintings of garden statues.
James Carroll Beckwith (1852-1917) Allee de l'Ete, Versailles 1913

When Beckwith was in France, the government had recognized the dilapidation of the once glorious palace, and was moving to restore Versailles to its original splendor. (Franchi and Weber, Intimate Revelations: The Art of Carroll Beckwith (1852-1917), 1999)
James Carroll Beckwith (1852-1917) Nymph and Cupid 1913

His papers, including his sketchbooks & the diaries he kept from 1871, until his death in 1917, are held by the National Academy of Design in New York City. All of the paintings in this posting are held by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.
James Carroll Beckwith (1852-1917) Carrefour at the End of the Tapis Vert, Versailles 1913
James Carroll Beckwith (1852-1917) One of the Figures at the Parterre d'Eau
James Carroll Beckwith (1852-1917) Corner of the Terrace, Versailles 1911

James Carroll Beckwith (1852-1917) Parterre du Nord, Fontaine des Sirenes 1913,