In this ongoing series for Fine Art Today, we take a longer look at the history and features of a soon-to-be-available artwork of note. This week: Daniel Ridgway Knight, “On the River’s Edge.”
A Pennsylvania native, artist Daniel Ridgway Knight (1839-1924) would spend much of his life abroad in Paris, where his paintings of peasant women amidst the countryside earned him great success. In addition to his pastoral subjects, Knight was a supremely skilled and acute observer of the natural world. Knight was also known for his talent for rendering the human form, which was comparable to that of his 19th-century contemporary William-Adolphe Bouguereau.
Early in his career, Knight was fortunate to have studied under Gleyre at the École des Beaux-Arts and later worked in the private studio of Meissonier. Knight was honored several times throughout his life, including a silver medal and the Cross of the Legion of Honor in 1889. He was also made a Knight of the Royal Order of St. Michael of Bavaria in 1893. The Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, also awarded the artist a gold medal of honor in 1893.
Knight’s works are heavily collected and the market frequently demands in excess of $50,000 for his works. Sotheby’s expects similar numbers when Knight’s “On the River’s Edge” heads to the block on January 30 in New York City. This work in particular displays Knight’s proficiency as a colorist. At center one finds a young peasant girl sitting on a stone wall. Perhaps toward the end of the day, a soft glow of sunlight blankets the scene. All around the central figure are colorful flowers and foliage. At distance one discovers a lake and town beyond. The application of paint is superb. The piece features degrees of precision and expression that are hypnotic.
“On the River’s Edge” heads to auction on January 30 during Sotheby’s “Master Paintings & 19th Century European Art” sale. Estimates are between $40,000 and $60,000.

To view the full catalogue, visit Sotheby’s.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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