Fox Chase

Alphonse Jongers

  • COVID-19 Update--Dear Friends, as part of the effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus, we have closed the Museum to the public through at least April 30, and have cancel all programs during this time. We’re looking forward to welcoming you to the Museum soon (and often!), but until then, we encourage you to visit the Artists’ Trail, a half-mile walk around the Museum’s riverfront landscape and gardens. Check our website and social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) to stay up-to-date about the Museum’s status and enjoy beautiful images, on-line exhibitions, fun facts, and behind-the-scenes videos. Should you need a staff member, call or email them as usual. Please stay in touch, Your FloGris Friends

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

  • 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