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Classification: painting »
Theme: landscape »
Medium: Oil »
Support: on canvas »
Oil on canvas, lined
30 x 40 in. (76.2 x 101.6 cm)
Signed lower right: John Folinsbee
Folinsbee 1912–20s stockbook: p. 48
Folinsbee 1920s–40s stockbook: p. [4]
Private collection
Ruth Baldwin Folinsbee
Private collection
Private collection
National Academy of Design, New York, 101st Annual Exhibition (Winter), November 27–December 19, 1926, no. 258, Awarded J. Francis Murphy Memorial Prize.
Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, 13th Annual Exhibition of American Art, April 26–May 31, 1927, no. 41.
New London, Connecticut, [Paintings by John Folinsbee], April–May 1929.
Phillips Mill Community Association, New Hope, Pennsylvania, Exhibition of Fine Arts, October 4–November 2, 1930.
Richard Stuart Gallery, Pipersville, Pennsylvania, The Remaining Major Works of Leith-Ross and the Extraordinary Early Paintings of John Folinsbee (1917-1940), November 4–December 2, 1979.
Ogunquit Museum of American Art, Ogunquit, Maine, The Art of John Folinsbee, July–August 2001, no. 12.
Woodmere Art Museum, John Folinsbee and American Modernism, November 6, 2010–March 6, 2011. (Jensen 2010).
Published References
"The National Academy." Springfield Republican, November 30, 1926.
[no title]. New York Times, 28 November 1926, b/w ill.
Cook, Peter G. John Folinsbee. New York: Kubaba Books, 1994, p. 77, color ill.
Reed, Melissa A. "John Folinsbee: A Traditional Painter Amidst Modernist Trends." Yale University, 1994, fig. 17.
Culver, Michael. "The Art of John Folinsbee." American Art Review 13, no. 4 (August 2001), p. 110, color ill.
Jensen, Kirsten. "Contour, Bones, and Skin: Cezanne's Influence on John Folinsbee." Fine Art Connoisseur 4 (July/August 2007), p. 54, color ill.
Jensen, Kirsten M. John Folinsbee and American Modernism. Philadelphia: Woodmere Art Museum, 2010. Exhibition catalogue (2010 Woodmere Art Museum Phila), p. 16, color ill.
Jensen, Kirsten M. "John Folinsbee and American Modernism." American Art Review (February 2011), p. 95, color ill.
Jensen, Kirsten M. Folinsbee Considered. Hudson Hills Press, 2013, pp. 69, 177 plate 26.

In 1926, Folinsbee and his family spent the summer in a picturesque town, Bourré, located in the Loire Valley along the River Cher, thirty miles east of Tours. Folinsbee's eldest daughter, Beth, remembers picnicking on the riverbanks as her father made numerous sketches of the town and its environs. Bourré is one of the major works that Folinsbee painted from those sketches upon their return to New Hope that autumn. Like another major painting derived from those sketches, Bridge at Montrichard (JFF.842), Bourré signals a turning point in Folinsbee's style and palette. Throughout the early 1920s, Folinsbee had begun to move away from the tonal harmonies that characterize much of his early work and to incorporate a brighter palette of blues, oranges, and greens?largely on the suggestion of his friend Robert Spencer. The bright palette Folinsbee used for Bourré has a bleached quality that is evocative of the sun-washed oranges, greens, and blues of summertime in the Loire Valley.

It is also no surprise that the painting calls to mind the work of Paul Cézanne, whose work Folinsbee had begun to study intensely after 1920. In fact, the composition of Bourré is reminiscent of Cézanne's painting Ile de France Landscape of 1879-80 (Private collection). Folinsbee had read Roger Fry's Vision and Design (1920), in which Fry noted Cézanne's attempts to penetrate the surface of his canvases in search of underlying form and structure. In Bourré , Folinsbee was beginning to try his hand at Cézanne's technique, to move away from the heavily textured surface of his early work, to something more suggestive of his subject's underlying form and contour. When the painting was exhibited at the National Academy's 1926 Winter Annual, critics and academicians took notice: it was awarded the prestigious J. Francis Murphy prize for landscape painting. The critic for the New York Times later remarked on the development of Folinsbee's style as "outstanding" and notable for "its vigorous and mobile design."

Record last updated August 2, 2019. Please note that the information on this and all pages is periodically reviewed and subject to change.
Citation: Jensen, Kirsten M. ""Bourré, 1926 (JFF.796)." In John F. Folinsbee Catalogue Raisonné. (accessed on June 18, 2024).