After briefly visiting sites in England and painting in Paris, the Folinsbees settled in the charming village of Bourré, located southwest of the capital in the Loire Valley and bounded to the south by the Cher River. The summer passed with Folinsbee creating a wealth of sketches of the area, despite his wheelchair and thanks to the assistance of friends carrying him to sites more difficult to access; indeed, this predicament turned fortuitous by obliging him to focus on one view for a day’s worth of study where he could experiment with compositional arrangement and paint application, not unlike the elder Cezanne’s dozens of views of Mont Sainte-Victoire.
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In Bourré Gardens, Folinsbee’s elevated perspective allowed him to use the preset diagonals of the stone walls, well-worn paths and cottage roofs to cleverly structure his canvas, thereby bringing one’s eye into and through the landscape to the ribbon of blue river in the distance and over toward the towering Cyprus trees. The view is further enlivened through the artist’s tapestry-like brushwork in rendering the verdant fields and foliage, and the textured stone of the buildings. While Folinsbee’s interest in Cezanne revealed itself in other views of the village, the play of sunlight and shadow in Bourre Gardens is decidedly impressionist in quality and reveals the artist’s embrace of the spirited strokes of high-keyed color he had witnessed when working with Brinley a decade earlier.
By descent through the family of the artist
(on crossbar in pencil) Oil Painting John Folinsbee
1). Artist: Folinsbee, John F. Reg. No. 18502 C / Title: “Bourre” Size: 24 x 30 / Newman Galleries
2). Ogunquit Museum of American Art / Loan / The Art of John Folinsbee / July 1 – August 21, 2001
3). Exhibit #29. / Bourré / Oil 24” x 30”
1). Cook, Peter G. John Folinsbee. New York: Kubaba Books, 1994, p. 79, color ill., (incorrect size listed)
2). Jensen, Kirsten M. Folinsbee Considered. Hudson Hills Press, 2013, p. 72, color ill. p. 250, cat entry.
1). The Paintings of John Folinsbee, New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, New Jersey, October 30, 1982 – January 9, 1983, no. 19
2). John Folinsbee Retrospective, Washington Art Association, Washington, Connecticut, 1984, no. 9
3). John Folinsbee: Another View, Newman Galleries, Philadelphia, April 8 – 30, 1994, no. 29, as Bourré
4). The Art of John Folinsbee, Ogunquit Museum of American Art, Ogunquit, Maine, July – August 2001, no. 11
5). The Artist in the Garden, The James A. Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, February 7 – August 9, 2015, as Bourré Gardens