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Karl Anderson

Born: 1874, Oxford, Ohio, United States of America
Died: 1956, Westport, Connecticut, United States of America

Tennis Court at Hôtel Baudy
1910

Oil on canvas
Image: 21 1/8 x 25 in. (53.7 x 63.5 cm)
Frame: 27 9/16 x 31 9/16 in. (70.0 x 80.2 cm)
Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1992.175
Signed: Lower left: KARL/ANDERSON
Artist Name: []

Interpretation

Karl Anderson’s Tennis Court at Hôtel Baudy depicts a few of the painter’s fellow American expatriate artists and their family members gathered at the tennis courts behind the inn that served as their gathering spot in Giverny, the French rural village that became an important artists’ colony at the turn of the twentieth century. On one of two courts, a game of doubles tennis is in progress among the four figures dressed in customary “tennis whites.” Casting long shadows that indicate late afternoon, three players crouch in readiness as the fourth, at the lower left of the image, raises his racquet to serve, opening the game. Spectators are gathered at lower right among small tables, while a uniformed waiter, his back to the court, stands ready to take orders. The two fenced clay tennis courts are open areas of bleached white framed by surrounding strips of green grass and by the colorful masses of shrubs and brightly dressed figures in the foreground. Rapidly painted in bold strokes of bright color, Tennis Court at Hôtel Baudy glows with the cheerful warmth of a late summer afternoon of convivial pleasure.

Anderson spent the summer of 1909 in Giverny at the suggestion of two compatriots and former fellow art students, Frederick Frieseke and Richard Miller, whom he encountered by chance during a study tour that had taken him to Spain, Italy, and Holland. These artists were among the second generation of American painters who worked in the French village beginning in the late 1880s. They were drawn there not only by its picturesque rural ways and surroundings but also by the presence of its most famous resident, Claude Monet (1840–1926). Many of the Americans in Giverny emulated the impressionist approach the French painter had pioneered, painting in distinct strokes of pure, bright color to capture the effects of natural light in outdoor scenes. During his brief time in Giverny, Anderson began working in a distinctly impressionist manner, and on his return to the United States in 1910 he exhibited his Giverny works with other members of the so-called Giverny Group at a New York gallery.

The Hôtel Baudy, opened in 1887 to house the earliest visiting artists, remained an important center of Giverny’s social life even as later arrivals, often with their wives and children in tow, more frequently rented or purchased houses of their own. The inn’s tennis courts were laid out in 1900 by Stanton Young, an American resident of Giverny who organized popular tournaments among the artists. While the players in Anderson’s painting cannot be identified, his friend Frieseke, California painter Guy Rose, and Chicago-based painter Alson Skinner Clark (1876–1949) are known to have played tennis in Giverny while he was there. Anderson also recorded that he paired with longtime Giverny resident Frederick MacMonnies because the two were equally poor players. Tennis Court at Hôtel Baudy is a unique record of everyday leisure during the heyday of Giverny’s expatriate artists’ community, which would come to an end with the outbreak of World War I.

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Provenance

The artist
Mr. Nicholas Kilmer, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Jensen Fine Arts, Brookline, Massachusetts
Terra Foundation for the Arts Collection, Chicago, Illinois, 1992

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Exhibition History

Karl Anderson: American Impressionist and Modernist, Grand Central Art Galleries, Inc., New York, New York, and Westport-Weston Arts Council, Westport, Connecticut (organizer). Venue: Grand Central Art Galleries, Inc., New York, New York, August 21–September 15, 1984 [first presented as Karl Anderson of Westport: American Impressionist under the Westport-Weston Arts Council's aegis at Town Hall, Westport, Connecticut, June 29–July 22, 1984]. [exh. cat.]

Impressions de toujours: les peintres américains en France, 1865–1915 (Lasting Impressions: American Painters in France, 1865–1915), Musée d'Art Américain Giverny, France (organizer). Venue: Musée d'Art Américain Giverny, France, June 1–November 1, 1992; April 1–October 31, 1993; April 1-October 30, 1994; April 1–October 31, 1995. [exh. cat.]

Giverny: une impression américaine (Giverny, An American Impression), Musée d'Art Américain Giverny, France (organizer). Venue: Musée d'Art Américain Giverny, France, April 1–November 1, 1998.

Giverny: intérieurs, extérieurs (Giverny: Inside and Out), Musée d'Art Américain Giverny, France (organizer). Venue: Musée d'Art Américain Giverny, France, April 1–October 31, 2000.

Giverny au fil des saisons (Giverny in All Seasons), Musée d'Art Américain Giverny, France (organizer). Venue: Musée d'Art Américain Giverny, France, April 1–November 30, 2001.

The French Experience: American Artists at Giverny, Terra Museum of American Art, Chicago, Illinois (organizer). Venue: Terra Museum of American Art, Chicago, Illinois, July 27–October 20, 2002.

A Place on the Avenue: Terra Museum of American Art Celebrates 15 Years in Chicago, Terra Museum of American Art, Chicago, Illinois (organizer). Venue: Terra Museum of American Art, Chicago, Illinois, November 16, 2002–February 16, 2003.

En plein air: personnages dans un paysage (En Plein Air: Figures in a Landscape), Musée d'Art Américain Giverny, France (organizer). Venue: Musée d'Art Américain Giverny, France, April 1–October 31, 2004.

Impressionist Giverny: A Colony of Artists, 1885–1915, Musée d'Art Américain Giverny, France (organizer). Venues: Musée d'Art Américain Giverny, France, April 1–July 1, 2007; San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA, July 21–October 14, 2007. [exh. cat.]

Impressionist Giverny: The Americans, 1885-1915, Selections from the Terra Foundation for American Art, Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago, Illinois (organizer). Venues: Florence Griswold Museum of Art, Old Lyme, Connecticut, May 3–July 27, 2008; Albany Institute of History & Art, Albany, New York, August 23, 2008–January 4, 2009.

Monet and the Artists of Giverny: The Beginning of American Impressionism, The Bunkamura Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan with the Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago, Illinois (organizers). Venues: Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art, Kitakyushu, Japan, October 9–November 28, 2010; The Bunkamura Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan, December 7, 2010–February 17, 2011; The Okayama Prefectural Museum of Art, Okayama, Japan, February 25–April 10, 2011. [exh. cat.]

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Published References

Tarrant, Dorothy and John. A Community of Artists: Westport-Weston, 1900-1985. (exh. cat., Grand Central Art Galleries, Inc.). Westport, Connecticut: Westport-Weston Arts Council, 1985. Text p. 20.

Gerdts, William H. Monet's Giverny: An Impressionist Colony. New York: Abbeville Press, 1993. Text p. 192; pl. 98, p. 107 (color).

Gomes, Rosalie. Impressions of Giverny: A Painter's Paradise 1883-1914. San Francisco, California: Pomegranate Artbooks, 1995. Text pp. 79, 115; pl. 51, p. 82 (color).

Weber, Bruce. The Giverny Luminists: Frieseke, Miller and Their Circle. (exh. cat., Berry-Hill Galleries, Inc.). New York: Berry-Hill Galleries, Inc., 1995. Text p. 17; fig. 6, p. 21 (black & white).

Joyes, Claire. The Taste of Giverny: At Home with Monet and the American Impressionists. Paris, France: Flammarion, 2000. Ill. p. 123 (color).

Bourguignon, Katherine M. et al. Impressionist Giverny: A Colony of Artists, 1885–1915. (exh. cat. Musée d'Art Américain Giverny). Chicago, Illinois: Terra Foundation for American Art, 2007. Text pp. 20, 203 (checklist); ill. pp. 150 (color detail), 164 (color).

Bourguignon, Katherine M. "Impressionist Giverny: American Painters in France" American Art Review 20.3 (June 2008): 100-113. Ill. p.105 (color).

Bourguignon, Katherine M., Shunsuke Kijima and Sanjiro Minamikawa. Monet and the Artists of Giverny: The Beginning of American Impressionism. (exh. cat. Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art, The Bunkamura Museum of Art, Tokyo, and The Okayama Prefectural Museum of Art). Fukuoka, Japan: The Nishinippon Shimbun, 2010. Text cat. no. 71, pp. 130 (in Japanese), 189 (in English); ill. p. 131 (color).

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