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The Garden Parasol (work of art)

Artwork Info

circa 1910
57 1/8 x 77 inches (145.1 x 195.6 centimeters)


Purchased with funds from the State of North Carolina in 1973 and dedicated in memory of Moussa M. Domit, director of the North Carolina Museum of Art (1974–1980), by the NCMA Board of Trustees, 2008

Object Number
American to 1910

Key Ideas about this Work of Art

  • Frederick Carl Frieseke painted in the American impressionist style inspired by the earlier French impressionist painters. Frieseke was especially interested in capturing sunlight in his paintings.
  • The seated woman in this painting is Frieseke’s wife Sadie. The setting is the couple’s home in Giverny, France. 
  • Frieseke was an American artist who was originally from Michigan, but he lived most of his life in France. He spent summers in Giverny, where there was a colony of American impressionist painters. 
  • Frieseke painted his wife as a refined and cultured woman, taking tea and reading in her garden. The artist focused on the female form and on women’s private lives in many of his paintings. He used a different approach from other impressionist painters, who mostly painted landscapes.
  • The Japanese parasol, or umbrella, is highlighted by the sunlight in the painting. This parasol is a symbol of growing globalization of the late 1800s and early 1900s. Japan had been forced to open trade with western countries, and many western artists became interested in Japanese decorative arts. This trend is known as “Japonisme.”

Learn More

Frieseke’s sumptuous confection of color evokes the serene pleasure of a summer afternoon. The setting is the garden of the artist’s house at Giverny, France, where Frieseke spent many summers as a near neighbor to Claude Monet.

The painter poses his wife as a cultivated woman of leisure. Her reading is interrupted by the arrival of a visitor—or visitors—for it is our approach that prompts her to look up from her book. Any small drama that might arise from our encounter, however, is upstaged by the vibrancy of the sun-dappled garden and especially by the Japanese parasol aglow from the afternoon light.

tags: weather, fashion, seasons, color

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Resources for Students


  • An oil painting of an afternoon garden scene featuring two women. One is sitting in a green chair, and the other is standing, holding a parasol and wearing a big hat. Both women are wearing long, light-colored dresses. There is a tea table and a sunlit orange and yellow umbrella to the left of the women.

    The Garden Parasol

    The Garden Parasol by Frederick Friseke. The painting has two women in a garden outside with a large orange parasol.