Lot 57
  • 57

Daniel Ridgway Knight

150,000 - 250,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Daniel Ridgway Knight
  • At the Well
  • signed Ridgway Knight and inscribed Paris (lower left)
  • oil on canvas


Private Collection
Sale: Sotheby's, New York, October 30, 1980, lot 49, illustrated
Private Collection
Hammer Galleries, New York (by 1981)
Private Collection (acquired from the above in 1981, and sold, James D. Julia, Fairfield, Maine, January 26, 2005, lot 50, illustrated)
Richard Green, London
Acquired from the above 


New York, Hammer Galleries, 19th and 20th Century European and American Paintings, Recent Acquisitions, June 16 - August 31, 1981
Roslyn Harbor, New York, Nassau County Museum of Art, Garden Party, March 8 - July 6, 2014

Catalogue Note

Ridgway Knight felt that his purpose in life was to paint the people of the French countryside.  Immersing himself in a rural setting, he never installed a bathroom with running water, refused to run electricity, and viewed other newly introduced conveniences such as the automobile with some skepticism.  As soon as the artist felt an urban Paris influence overtake his beloved Poissy, he moved to Rolleboise so that he could be further removed from modern trappings. 

In order to perfectly capture the unique spirit of the country, Ridgway Knight made every effort to involve himself completely in country life.  As the critic George Sheldon explained the artist was “a familiar figure in the field and in the cottage…. A hundred times he has been called upon to act as godfather to the children of his models… His habit in this regard is well known among them” (George Sheldon, Recent Ideals of American Art, New York, 1889, p. 27 as quoted in A Pastoral Legacy, Ithaca, 1989, n.p.).  This rare community of artist and model allowed for such personal portrayals as At the Well. More than stock types placed in poses, Ridgway Knight captures a moment which reveals the closeness of the country people. This special quality was not overlooked.  As Sheldon believed “These peasants are as happy and content as any similar class in the world…. They enjoy life. They work hard, to be sure, but plenty of people do that. They love their native soil” (Sheldon, Recent Ideals, p. 24, as quoted in A Pastoral Legacy, n.p.).