Rehs Galleries Inc., a New York gallery specializing in 19thand 20th-century works of art, sells In Winter, a long-lost painting by the American artist Daniel Ridgway Knight (1939-1924).
Born in 1839, Ridgway Knight received his formal training at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts where he was a classmate of Mary Cassatt and Thomas Eakins. In 1861, he continued his studies in Paris under Alexandre Cabanel and Charles Gabriel Gleyre. Knight returned to the United States in 1863 to serve in the Civil War and then traveled back to France in 1872, where he would remain for the rest of his life.
Once Knight settled in France, he befriended Renoir, Sisley, and Meissonier. In 1874, he traveled to Barbizon to visit Jean-Francois Millet whose peasant subject he admired. During his visit, Knight realized that Millet’s depictions and views of French peasant life were a bit too fatalistic. Instead, Knight chose to capture rural life in France in its happier moments.
In Winter (1880), one of Knight’s early genre paintings, depicts three young peasant girls in a moment of conversation on a snow-covered path in the French countryside. Sometime after its creation, the work was acquired by American collector John D. Ross (1842-1917), who made his fortune in the lumber business. Since that time, In Winter remained in the family’s possession; passed down from one generation to another.
In 2018, John Ross’ descendants decided to sell the painting and contacted Rehs Galleries, the world’s experts on Knight’s work (the gallery is currently researching the life of Daniel Ridgway Knight for the forthcoming catalogue raisonné). Howard Rehs, the gallery’s owner, stated that, “He had been searching for this painting since the project began in the early 1990s, and only knew of its existence through old photographs in the gallery’s archives and an illustration in George Sheldon’s book Recent Ideals of American Art that was published in 1888.”
The gallery acquired this important painting and sold it before they even had the opportunity to display it. Mr. Rehs commented that, “It is nice to see strong interest in high quality 19th century Academic works of art, but sometimes they go too fast.”
For more information, visit https://www.rehs.com.
About Rehs Galleries, Inc.
Rehs Galleries Inc. is, along with its principals, considered one of the world’s leading dealers of 19th and early 20th-century European paintings and is currently involved in the catalogue raisonné research projects for Daniel Ridgway Knight, Julien Dupré, Emile Munier, and Antoine Blanchard.