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Still life of pink and white roses fill a decorative Chinese vase.

A vase is placed right of center as the garden roses and leaves hang over the vase, filling the empty space on the left. Seven full roses are seen in various angles and stages of bloom from opening bud to an aging bloom. The large cylindrical vase is detailed with warriors galloping on white horses and swords out, against a brown background. The vase sits on a shiny wooden table, its reflection is seen in the varnish, as well as the wood grain. The background behind the vase is undescribed hues of blues and greens.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
John La Farge, American (New York, NY 1835 - 1910 Providence, RI)
Chinese Pi-tong
Other Titles
Former Title: Still Life with Chinese Vase of Roses
Work Type
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Transparent and opaque watercolor over graphite on off-white wove paper
43.2 × 43.2 cm (17 × 17 in.)
frame: 72.7 × 72.7 × 3 cm (28 5/8 × 28 5/8 × 1 3/16 in.)


Recorded Ownership History
Purchased, probably from the artist, by Joshua Montgomery Sears, Boston, 1879; his bequest to Sarah Choate Sears, his wife, Boston, 1905; her bequest to Sarah Sears (Mrs. J.D. Cameron) Bradley, her daughter, Boston, 1935; her sale to Macbeth Gallery, New York, 1942; their sale to Scott and Fowles, Boston, 1942; their sale to Grenville L. Winthrop, New York, 1942.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art


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Publication History

  • Henry A. La Farge, Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of John La Farge, Unpublished (n.d.), card 107
  • Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer, "Recent Pictures in New York", The American Architect and Building News (March 22, 1879), no. 5, pp. 93-94, pp. 93 - 94
  • "Studies of the Artists", The New York Times (New York, NY, February 5, 1879), p.5, p. 5
  • Clarence Cook, "The American Water Color Society", New York Daily Tribune (New York, NY, February 1, 1879), p. 5, p. 5
  • "The Society of American Water-Colors", Scribner's Monthly (June 1879), no. 18, pp. 310 - 311
  • Susan Nichols Carter, "The Water-Colour Exhibition", Art Journal (New York, May 1879), n.s., no. 5, pp. 93-95, p. 94
  • Illustrated Catalogue of the Twelfth Annual Exhibition of the American Water Color Society, exh. cat., American Water Color Society (New York, NY, 1879), no. 15
  • "Minor Exhibitions", The Art Amateur (April 1895), no. 32, pp. 132-33, pp. 132 - 133
  • Bancel La Farge, List and Lenders, Durand-Ruel Exhibition, Unpublished (1895)
  • "Boston Views Art of La Farge", The Boston Herald (Boston, MA, December 28, 1910), p. 3, p. 3
  • "The Fine Arts: La Farge's Work", Boston Evening Transcript (Boston, MA, December 28, 1910), p. 19
  • Kenyon Castle Bolton, III, Peter G. Huenink, Earl A. Powell III, Harry Z. Rand, and Nanette C. Sexton, American Art at Harvard, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1972), cat. 79, ill.
  • Donelson F. Hoopes, American Watercolor Painting, Watson-Guptill Publications (New York, NY, 1977), pp. 63, 114, pl. 18
  • Marjorie B. Cohn, Wash and Gouache: A Study of the Development of the Materials of Watercolor, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, 1977), pp. 43, 69, 101, cat. 33, p. 80 notes 12 & 24
  • Kathleen A. Foster, "The Still-Life Paintings of John La Farge", American Art Journal (Summer 1979), no. 11, pp. 4-37, pp. 4 - 37
  • Doreen Bolger Burke, J. Alden Weir: An American Impressionist, exh. cat., University of Delaware Press (Newark, DE, 1983), pp. 157 - 158, reproduced
  • Henry B. Adams, “John La Farge and Japan”, Apollo (February 1984), pp.120-29, pp. 120 - 129, reproduced p. 127
  • Barbara Dayer Gallati, "The Watercolors of John La Farge", The Magazine Antiques (December 1987), no. 132, pp. 1290-1301, p. 1294, ill. p. 1291
  • Henry B. Adams, “John La Farge, The Inventive Maverick”, Smithsonian (July 1987), pp.46-61, reproduced p. 48
  • Henry B. Adams, “John La Farge: America's Genteel Old Master”, Carnegie Magazine, Carnegie Institute (Pittsburgh, PA, November 1987 - December 1987), no. 58, ill. p. 48
  • Henry B. Adams et al., John La Farge: Essays, exh. cat., Abbeville Press (New York, NY, 1987), pp. 45; 136 - 137, reproduced
  • Meredith Fife Day, "John La Farge: Painter, Designer, Draftsman, Illustrator, and Muralist", Belmont Herald (Belmont, MA, March 20, 1988), p. 3
  • "The Creative Diversity of John La Farge", USA Today Magazine, USA Today Magazine (March 1988), no. 116, ill. p. 47
  • Sue Welsh Reed and Carol Troyen, Awash in Color: Homer, Sargent, and the Great American Watercolor, exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston, MA, 1993), p. xxiv
  • Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., "American Watercolors and Pastels, 1875-1950", American Art Review (April 2006), XVIII, no. 2, pp. 88-93, repr. p. 90
  • Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., American Watercolors and Pastels 1875-1950 at the Fogg Art Museum, brochure, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2006), checklist, repr. (n.p.)
  • Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., Virginia Anderson, and Kimberly Orcutt, ed., American Paintings at Harvard, Volume Two, Paintings, Drawings, Pastels and Stained Glass by Artists Born 1826-1856, Harvard Art Museums and Yale University Press (U.S.) (Cambridge, MA and New Haven, CT, 2008), p. 190, cat. no. 147, reproduced in color, p. 191
  • James L. Yarnall, John La Farge, A Biographical and Critical Study, Ashgate Publishing (Burlington, VT, 2012), pp. xvi, 122, 223, repr. as pl. 19
  • Kathleen A. Foster, American Watercolor in the Age of Homer and Sargent, exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia, 2017), pp. 172, 174, fig. 142, 196
  • Joachim Homann, Margaret Morgan Grasselli, and Miriam Stewart, ed., American Watercolors, 1880–1990: Into the Light, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, 2023), repr. as pl. 3 on p. 72

Exhibition History

  • Twelfth Annual Exhibition of the American Society of Painters in Water Colors, American Water Color Society, New York, 01/01/1879 - 03/01/1879
  • Regular Water-Color Exhibit, St. Botolph Club, 03/01/1890 - 03/31/1890
  • Harvard Exhibition, World's Columbian Exposition site, Chicago, 05/01/1893 - 11/30/1893
  • Paintings, Studies, Sketches and Drawings, Mostly Records of Travel 1886 and 1890 - 91 by John La Farge, Durand-Ruel [New York], New York, 02/25/1895 - 03/25/1895
  • La Farge Memorial Exhibition, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, 01/01/1911 - 01/31/1911
  • Loan Exhibition of Paintings by John La Farge and His Descendants, Wildenstein Gallery, New York, New York, 03/01/1931 - 03/31/1931
  • Prints and Drawings by Winslow Homer and John La Farge, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, 06/25/1936 - 08/02/1936
  • American Art at Harvard, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/19/1972 - 06/18/1972
  • Wash and Gouache: A Study of the Development of the Materials of Watercolor, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 05/12/1977 - 06/22/1977
  • American Watercolors and Pastels, 1875-1950, at the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/08/2006 - 06/25/2006
  • American Watercolors, 1880–1990: Into the Light, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 05/20/2023 - 08/13/2023

Verification Level

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at