He remained committed to female subject matter throughout his career, favoring the depiction of nudes surrounded by flowers and bathed in dappled sunlight. "It is sunshine," he wrote, "flowers in sunshine, girls in sunshine, the nude in sunshine, which I have been principally interested in." Often he would add parasols or other geometric figures for contrast with the broken color areas of flowers.
He remained throughout his life an unapologetic expatriate. In France, he said, "I am more free and there are not the Puritanical restrictions which prevail in Americahere I can paint the nude out of doors." Some of his most sensitive works, however, were interiors of subjects posed in elegant environments engaged in intimate occupations.
It would be interesting to compare the self-consciously decorative quality of his nude studies to the angular frankness of Degas' late bathers pastels. Despite the evident skill in Frieseke's paintings, they have not escaped criticism. One prominent observer described them as sentimental "confections" characterized by their "sweet and sugary" coloration.