DANIEL RIDGWAY KNIGHT
1839 - 1924
signed Ridgway Knight and inscribed Paris (lower left)
oil on canvas laid down on masonite
32½ by 26¼ in.
82.6 by 66.7 cm
Howard L. Rehs has confirmed the authenticity of this work and will include it in his forthcoming catalogue raisonné which will be published by Rehs Galleries - www.ridgwayknight.com.
Oil on canvas laid down on masonite. The work presents well and the colors remain bright. There are a very few isolated pin dots of accretion in the sky at upper right, on the blouse of the figure, and near the upper right edge. Some frame abrasion and remnants of gold paint from a frame are visible in current framing along the upper edge. Under UV: varnish fluoresces green. There is inpainting along the upper edge to address prior frame abrasion, and a small area of old, brushy inpainting in the sky at upper right.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD “AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE.
R.H. Love Galleries, Chicago
The setting of the present work is Daniel Ridgway Knight’s home in Rolleboise, a rural commune northwest of Paris. Taking respite from a day’s labor, the artist’s model admires the wild and brightly hued poppies in the artist’s garden overlooking the Seine. Ridgway Knight’s fame came from his garden compositions during this period and he always depicted the blooms with meticulous detail, and the blaze of flowers is particularly vibrant in this large work.
Having recently been knighted into the Légion d’Honneur, Ridgway Knight settled in Rolleboise in the 1890s to continue painting the subject he had so loved throughout his career, which was also highly sought after by contemporary collectors: the idyllic life of peasants in rural France. The rapid modernization and industrialization of Paris in the nineteenth century had led artists such as Jean-François Millet, Jules Breton and William Bouguereau to appreciate and romanticize the simplicity of life in the countryside. Ridgway Knight completely immersed himself in provincial living to better understand his subjects: he befriended the local people, many of whom became his models, and would not install running water and electricity in his home. The present scene is devoid of any industrial advancements or technology that had become so commonplace in late nineteenth century depictions of the Seine and its environs. On this stretch of river there are neither steamboats nor modern bridges stretching across the gray water, and no smoke stacks or factories on the horizon. In this secluded artist’s paradise Ridgway Knight could paint his idealized, colorful compositions far removed from modern life.