Daniel Ridgway Knight (1839-1924) was an American artist born in Philadelphia. In 1871 he moved to France where he purchased a house and studio at Poissy on the Seine. This was a perfect area for him as it provided lush natural scenery that can be seen in the majority of his paintings. He used this as a backdrop for his favorite subject to paint, peasant women at work and play.
The Rose Garden is a perfect example of this; a young woman taking a contemplative break while tending to her garden. One can see roofs just peeking above the flora with a picturesque lake in the background. The fact that Knight preferred to paint the ‘common’, everyman (or woman in his case) set him apart from his French peers.
Most French painters chose to depict these men and women in their laborious toils; still trying to make a living off of the land during the time of the ever expanding Industrial Revolution. In Knight’s own words: “These peasants are as happy and content as any similar class in the world. They all save money and are small capitalists and investors…. They work hard to be sure but plenty of people do that.”
Stop in to see The Rose Garden and other works by Daniel Ridgway Knight. We are underway on getting the labels printed for the new self-guided art tour….stay tuned for updates!