© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
John La Farge, American (New York, NY 1835 - 1910 Providence, RI)
A Bridle Path in Tahiti
Other Titles
Former Title: Bridle-Path, Tahiti
Work Type
c. 1900
Physical Descriptions
Gouache and watercolor over graphite on off-white wove paper mounted on cardboard
48 x 51.8 cm (18 7/8 x 20 3/8 in.)
frame: 75.7 × 82 × 1.7 cm (29 13/16 × 32 5/16 × 11/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • exhibition label: [1987], backing board, paper: No. 85
  • exhibition label: [1945], backing board, paper: No. L53-45
  • label: [1936], backing board, paper: [partial exhibition label:] Special Loan Exhibition: La Farge Memorial
  • exhibition label: [1946], backing board, paper: No. 2432.46
  • exhibition label: [1936], backing board, paper: No. 327.36.
Purchased by Doll and Richards (from artist?), Boston, 1901; purchased by Dr. Alexander C. Humphreys, New York, by 1907; his estate sale, American Art Association, New York, 1917; purchased at that sale by Edward D. Bettens, Cambridge, MA.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Edward D. Bettens to the Louise E. Bettens Fund
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art
The Harvard Art Museums encourage the use of images found on this website for personal, noncommercial use, including educational and scholarly purposes. To request a higher resolution file of this image, please submit an online request.
Publication History

Henry A. La Farge, Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of John La Farge, Unpublished (n.d.), card 371

"The Art World", The Commercial Advertiser [New York ] (New York, NY, November 10, 1900), p. 6

John La Farge, "Passages from a Diary in the Pacific: Tahiti", Scribner's Magazine (July 1901), pp. 69-83, ill. p. 79

"Pictures by John La Farge", The New York Times (New York, NY, January 25, 1901), p. 7, p. 7

Carnegie Institute, Catalogue of Works by John La Farge, exh. cat. (Pittsburgh, PA, 1901), cat. 90

Catalogue of Works by John La Farge, exh. cat., Montross Gallery (New York, NY, 1901), cat. 102

"La Farge Exhibits Many Paintings", The Boston Herald (Boston, MA, February 29, 1904), p. 5, p. 5

"Auction Sales 1916 - 1917", American Art Annual (New York, NY, 1917), no. 14, p. 370, p. 370

Edward Detraz Bettens, Painter and Patron, [Privately printed] (New York, NY, 1918), p. 8

Women's Civic Club, Exhibition of Paintings by American Artists, exh. cat., Crandall Free Library (Glens Falls, NY, 1933), cat. 15

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, An Exhibition of the Work of John La Farge, exh. cat., Blanchard Press, Inc. (New York, NY, 1936), no. 64, reproduced in b/w

Lloyd Goodrich, American Watercolor and Winslow Homer, exh. cat., Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN, 1945), p. 36

Fogg Art Museum and Benjamin Rowland, Jr., Real and Ideal in American Art, exh. cat. (Cambridge, MA, Summer 1948), cat. 25

Marco Valsecchi, Mostra di Pittura Americana del XIX Secolo, exh. cat., De Luca Editore (Rome, Italy, 1954), no. 86

Lloyd Goodrich, Art of the United States: 1670-1966, exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY, 1966), p. 151, cat. 167

Marco Valsecchi, Landscape Painting of the Nineteenth Century/ Mostra di pittura americana del XIX secolo, exh. cat., New York Graphic Society (Greenwich, CT, 1969), reproduced plate 282

Evelyne de Chazeaux, Lettres des Mers du Sud, Musée de l'Homme (Paris, France, 1974), reproduced as pl. 25, after p. 434

Stuart Preston, "A Puritan in Paradise: Henry Adams in Oceania", Art Studies for an Editor: 25 Essays in Memory of Milton S. Fox, ed. Frederick Hartt and Patricia Egan, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (New York, NY, 1975), ill. p. 233

Donelson F. Hoopes, American Watercolor Painting, Watson-Guptill Publications (New York, NY, 1977), p. 64, p. 115, pl. 19

Diana Chalmers Johnson, American Art Nouveau, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (New York, NY, 1979), p. 235, ill

Kathleen Eagen Johnson, "John La Farge", Antiques and the Arts Weekly (September 18, 1987), reproduced p. 1

Kathleen A. Foster, John La Farge and the American Watercolor Movement: Art for the "Decorative Age.'" (1987), pg. 151, repro. 152

Henry B. Adams et al., John La Farge: Essays, exh. cat., Abbeville Press (New York, NY, 1987), pp. 60, 151, reproduced in color p. 152

James L. Yarnall, "John La Farge and Henry Adams in the South Seas", American Art Journal (New York, NY, Summer 1988), pp. 51-109, pp. 102 - 103, ill.

"John La Farge Exhibit", Sentinel-Enterprise [Fitchburg] (Fitchburg, MA, March 19, 1988 - March 20, 1988), reproduced p. 3A

"La Farge", Exhibit Magazine of Art (January 1988 - February 1988), ill. p. 13

"The Creative Diversity of John La Farge", USA Today Magazine, USA Today Magazine (March 1988), no. 116, ill. pp. 44 - 45

Frederic Hunter, "Two Artists in Tahiti, Worlds Apart", The Christian Science Monitor (February 4, 1991), reproduced p. 16

James L. Yarnall, Recreation and Idleness: The Pacific Travels of John La Farge, exh. cat., Vance Jordan Fine Art, Inc. (New York, NY, 1998), p. 118; reproduced in color, fig 151, p. 120

David Cleveland, "The New York Water Color Club", The Magazine Antiques (November 2005), pp. 114-121, p. 121, pl. XI (color)

Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., American Watercolors and Pastels 1875-1950 at the Fogg Art Museum, brochure, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2006), checklist

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 University Art Museums/Yale University Press (Cambridge, MA and New Haven, CT, 2008), p. 207, cat. 159, ill. p. 208

Elisabeth Hodermarsky, John La Farge's Second Paradise: Voyages in the South Seas, 1890-1891, exh. cat., Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, 2010), cat. no. 47, fig. 105, pp. 139-140, detail repr. p. 122, checklist p. 214

James L. Yarnall, John La Farge, A Biographical and Critical Study, Ashgate Publishing Company (Burlington, VT, 2012), pp. 259-260, halftone reproduction of drawing p. 259 as fig. 9.17

Jessica Skwire Routhier, American Watercolor in the Age of Homer and Sargent, Antiques & The Arts Weekly ([e-journal], February 21, 2017), https://www.antiquesandthearts.com/american-watercolor-in-the-age-of-homer-and-sargent/, accessed July 11, 2017

Kathleen A. Foster, American Watercolor in the Age of Homer and Sargent, exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia, 2017), p. 267, fig. 219, repr. p. 256 (detail)

Exhibition History

Eleventh Annual Exhibition of the New York Water Color Club, American Fine Arts Society, New York, 11/10/1900 - 12/02/1900

Catalogue of Works by John La Farge, Montross Gallery, New York, 01/24/1901 - 02/23/1901; Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, 03/27/1901 - 04/10/1901

Grosse Berliner Kunst-Austellung, Berlin International Exposition, Berlin, 01/01/1903 - 12/31/1903

Exhibition and Private Sale of Pictures, Drawings and Sketches by Mr. John La Farge, Doll and Richards Gallery, Boston, 02/26/1904 - 03/16/1904

Exhibit of American Paintings from the Collection of Dr. Alexander Humphreys, Lotos Club, New York, 03/30/1907 - 03/30/1907

Exhibition of Paintings Lent by Dr. A. C. Humphreys of New York City to the Department of Fine Arts, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, 01/01/1914 - 12/31/1914

Exhibition of Paintings by American Artists, Crandall Free Library, Glens Falls, 03/01/1933 - 03/31/1933

Watercolors by 12 Americans, Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, 05/22/1933 - 06/26/1933

An Exhibition of the Work of John La Farge, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 03/23/1936 - 04/26/1936

Prints and Drawings by Winslow Homer and John La Farge, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, 06/25/1936 - 08/02/1936

Unidentified Watercolor Exhibition, Winchester Art Association, 1940, Winchester Art Association, Winchester, 11/29/1939 - 12/31/1939

A History of American Watercolor Painting, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 01/27/1942 - 02/25/1942

American Watercolor and Winslow Homer, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 02/27/1945 - 03/23/1945; Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, 04/03/1945 - 05/01/1945; Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, 05/15/1945 - 06/12/1945

A History of American Watercolor Painting, Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, 12/02/1945 - 12/27/1945; Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Utica, 01/06/1946 - 01/27/1946; Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts, Columbus, 02/06/1946 - 02/26/1946; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, 03/10/1946 - 04/14/1946; Seattle Art Museum, 05/08/1946 - 06/02/1946; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, 06/16/1946 - 07/14/1946; William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art (now Nelson-Atkins), Kansas City, 07/25/1946 - 08/18/1946; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 09/01/1946 - 09/25/1946; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, 10/06/1946 - 10/27/1946; George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, Springfield, 11/08/1946 - 11/28/1946

Real and Ideal in American Art, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 06/01/1948 - 09/01/1948

Nineteenth Century American Paintings, Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt, 03/01/1953 - 04/30/1953; Kunsthaus Munich, Munich, 05/01/1953 - 05/31/1953; Kunsthalle Hamburger - see Hamburger Kunsthalle, 07/01/1953 - 07/31/1953; Charlottenburger Schloss, Berlin, 09/08/1953 - 10/13/1953; Kunstsammlunger der Stadt, Dusseldorf, 11/01/1953 - 12/15/1953; Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Roma, Rome, 01/16/1954 - 02/16/1954; Palazzetto Reale, Milan, 02/18/1954 - 03/15/1954; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 04/21/1954 - 05/23/1954

Boston Arts Festival, Boston Public Gardens, Boston, 06/04/1955 - 06/19/1955

Unidentified Exhibition, Thomas Crane Public Library, 1955, Thomas Crane Public Library, Quincy, 08/15/1955 - 08/20/1955

American Paintings from the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Symphony Hall, Boston, 02/21/1958 - 03/15/1958

A Change of Sky: Paintings by Americans Who Have Worked Abroad, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, 03/04/1960 - 04/03/1960

John La Farge, Graham Gallery, New York, 05/04/1966 - 06/10/1966

Art of the United States, 1670-1966, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 09/27/1966 - 11/27/1966

Watercolors from the Fogg: An Historical Collection, St. Paul's School, Concord, 10/12/1971 - 11/20/1971

John La Farge, National Museum of American Art, Washington, 07/10/1987 - 10/12/1987; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, 11/07/1987 - 01/03/1988; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, 02/24/1988 - 04/24/1988

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

John La Farge's Second Paradise: Voyages in the South Seas, 1890-1891, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, 10/19/2010 - 01/02/2011; Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, 01/22/2011 - 03/27/2011

American Watercolor in the Age of Homer and Sargent, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, 03/01/2017 - 05/14/2017

Subjects and Contexts

Collection Highlights

Google Art Project

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 am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu