Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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LAET, Jan, Flemish geographer, born in Antwerp; died late in 1649. He was the author of treatises describing Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, India, Persia, Turkey, and Portugal, which were published in the Elzevir series of "Les petites rd-publiques." He also published " Novus orbis, seu descriptionis occidentalis, libri xviii., cum tabulis" (Leyden, 1633; French translation, 1633; Dutch translation, 1640). This account of America was much used by later geographers. In " Notre ad Dissertationem H. Grotii de origine gentium americanarum" (Paris, 1643) he controverted the theory of Grotius respecting the origin of the American Indians. The latter replied somewhat acrimoniously, and drew from Laet a "Responsio ad Dissertationem secundam H. Grotii de origine gentium amerieanarum" (Amsterdam, 1644). He edited " Historia naturalis Brasiliae," containing a treatise on medicine by G. Pison, and one on the natural history of Brazil by Georg Markgraff (Leyden, 1648). LA FARGE, John, artist, born in New York city, 31 March, 1835. He was a pupil of William M. Hunt, and has been an earnest student of European art during the numerous trips he has taken to Europe. Mr. La Farge was first a draughtsman on wood, then a painter of flowers, landscapes, and portraits, and then a decorator of church interiors and a mural painter on biblical themes. As a draughtsman the illustrations that he contributed to an edition of "Enoch Arden," to "Songs from the Old Dramatists," and those published in the "Riverside Magazine," are remarkable for their beauty, and show the close sympathy of the artist with his subject. He established his reputation as a brilliant colorist and idealist by superb compositions of flowers and ideal groups as well as illustrations. Mr. La Farge was one of the first to admire Japanese art, and to call public attention to it by his writings. In 1886 he visited that empire. His most important recent work has been in the direction of decorative art and glass-painting. In the latter he has not only rivalled the colors of the finest mediaeval stained-glass windows, but he has been able to perfect an unsurpassed method of leading, in which the mechanical means are made to contribute to the rendering of details and the general effect. He was elected a National academician in 1869, and is also a member of the Society of American artists. Among his leading decorative works, the interior of Trinity church in Boston, perhaps, takes precedence, although the painting and other decoration of the chancel of St. Thomas's in New York have a high value artistically. His other church work includes "The Adoration of the Wise Men" in the Church of the incarnation, and "The Ascension" in the chancel of the church of that name in New York city; also the chancel of Trinity church in Buffalo, New York Much of the interior decorations, notably the staircase windows and ceilings of the Vanderbilt mansion, and also the paintings for the music-room in the residence of Whitelaw Reid, are by Mr. La Farge. The "Battle Window," in the Memorial hall at Harvard (1880), is one of his most brilliant successes in colored glass. His latest and most elaborate achievement in this material is the Ames memorial window at Easton, Massachusetts (1887). His paintings include "New England Pasture-Land," " View over Newport," "A Gray Day," "A Snowy Day," "The Triumph of Love," "The Last Valley," "St. Paul," "The Wolf-Charmer." and "Sleeping Beauty."
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