Our Art / John La Farge

John La Farge

Initially intending to study law in university, La Farge (1835–1910) changed tracks after his first visit to France stimulated by the arts in Paris. He was a pioneer in studying Japanese art, the influence of which is seen in his flattened landscapes. His work often experimented with color through new processes, especially in the medium of stained glass. His work rivaled the beauty of medieval windows and added new perspectives with his use of opalescent glass, a method of layering and melting glass into cloudy, marbled pieces with subtle coloring. La Farge apparently showed his experiments to Tiffany & Co.’s designer, Louis Comfort Tiffany, introducing him to the new use of opalescent glass. Though friendly at first, relations between the two artists later soured as they fought over their own respective patents on how to create windows with opalescent glass.

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