Alphonse JongersFox Chase

Share

In The Fox Chase, Jongers is shown with full beard, thick necked and muscular, fully invested in the chase.

Out of his pocket pokes a piece of paper with the phrase Adieu la France (or “good-bye France”), reflecting his relatively new expatriate status.

Alphonse Jongers

Born November 17, 1872, Mézières, France
Died October 2, 1945, Montreal, Canada
In Old Lyme, 1900-1904

The Canadian portrait artist Alphonse Jongers assured his place in American art history when he painted a portrait of Miss Florence, the self-described “keeper” of the Lyme Art Colony, behind her golden harp in 1903. Titled The Harpist, Jongers painted Miss Florence as a gracious, cultured, dreamy-eyed muse to the artists, a portrait of a lady that has become an icon of the Museum’s collection.

Born in France, Alphonse studied art in Paris, Madrid, and England before making his way to French Canada to set up a studio, first in Montreal, and after a few years, in New York. He most likely met Henry Ward Ranger in Montreal. Jongers was among the small group of artists to follow Ranger out into the Connecticut countryside in 1900.

  • His gay outlook on life, his rich sense of humor, his witty, and tolerant comments on men and affairs made him a welcome and attractive figure in social and artistic circles here and wherever he went.Jongers’ Obituary in The Gazette (Montreal), 1945

    Jongers’ Obituary in The Gazette (Montreal), 1945

#3-Harp

Jongers began the portrait of Miss Florence during his third summer at the boardinghouse. He brought the painting and the harp back to his New York studio to finish it. Unfortunately, the harp was badly damaged during its return to Old Lyme and has remained in disrepair ever since.

#1-Harpist

Alphonse Jongers (1872-1945)
The Harpist, 1903
Oil on canvas
Gift of the Lyme Art Association

 

  • The particular autumn evening when the light was waning, one of the younger painters got down behind the sofa with a guitar and another took his place as the harpist virtuoso, in front of the sofa. In the twilight the pantomime was perfect. In astonishment for a minute, he was still as a statue, spellbound.… Then this loved old painter, the salt of the earth, blurted: ‘What the hell! Who fixed that up?'

    Unidentifeid Writer in the Article Miss Florence’s Harp