John La Farge was mainly known for his stained glass work. In the late nineteenth century, La Farge created numerous stained glass pieces for buildings that are now national treasures. Born in New York City to French parents, La Farge grew up bilingually and studied art when at Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland and St. John’s College (now Fordham University) in New York. He also trained in Newport, Rhode Island with the painter William Morris Hunt. This piece was created during one of La Farge’s many journeys to the South Pacific. Many of his paintings were inspired by these visits. He once travelled to Hawaii just to paint an active volcano. This particular painting is of an opening to a river in Tahiti, one of La Farge’s favorite places to travel. This piece in particular provides a fantastic teaching tool to students of watercolor: the background is complete, the middleground is in progress, and the foreground is not yet started, showing us the many steps necessary for watercolor.
-Constantine Botimer, Class of 2019