American Masterpieces from Dryads Green Gallery
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   Snowscape, Oil on Canvas, 18 x 22, Signed
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Another Knight set in the Pyrenees-Orientale
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The Artist ca. 1920
Curator's Comment:  Louis Aston Knight (1873--1948) was the son of the American
ex-patriot painter, Daniel Ridgway Knight, who was born in America and began studying art at
the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.  He was a classmate of both Cassatt and Eakins. In
1861, he went to Paris to study under Cabanel, but returned to Philadelphia in 1863 to serve in
the Union Army.  In 1871 Ridgway Knight married Rebecca Morris Webster and returned to
France a year later--where the couple remained--the following year saw the birth of Louis
Aston Knight. Ridgway Knight made a successful career out of peddling what American
tourists of his day wanted to take home. His work is formulaic--an overdressed but attractive
peasant maid or two always on a path along a stream and toting a jug, fagots, a basket of
flowers--you name it. Unlike his father, Aston Knight was raised and educated in Europe.
Knight began his artistic training, under the guidance of his father. Later he studied with  
Robert-Fleury and Jules Lefebvre. Aston Knight, it is said, stayed away from figures to pacify
his father--but he too knew how to make a similar living by keeping the stream and adding a
dilapidated mill or cottage, overgrown with trellised roses and other flowers--eventualy
peasant girls made an appearance. The formula work was very popular, and in 1922, Pres.
Harding purchased a Louis Aston Knight, to hang in the White House.

  In 1894 Aston Knight debuted at the Paris Salon, starting a highly acclaimed career. Among
his many awards, he won Gold medals at the Paris Salon in both 1905 and 1906, earning him
the title Hors concours as the first American to win two gold medals at the Salon in two
consecutive years. Despite his stylistic entrapment, Louis Aston Knight received strong
influence from Monet and the Impressionists with whom he was friendly. When painting
outside of his traditional locales--he showed an impressionist spark that we think collectors
will find valuable. Our snowscape reveals just how good Aston Knight's impressionism truly
is--with a brilliant sky and landscape contoured by winter. Knight put the snow into the sky,
which is why you want this painting. Called "Un Effet de Neige," the work was likely done in
the Pyrenees-Orientale, near to Ax Les Thermes, and close to Spain and Andorra where the
grand hotel overlooks the mountains that are now ski slopes. His choice of "effet"--which
connotes "indeed"--suggests that as a painter he sees nature creating a painting of its own--an
absolute inpressionist tenet. We  think time will eventually decide in favor of these rare break
through paintings. And indeed our snowscape from the Readers Digest Collection was first
exhibited at Cornell Univ. in 1989. See: Ithaca, NY, Cornell Univ., Herbert F. Johnson
Museum of Art,  A Pastoral Legacy: Paintings and Drawings by the American Artists Daniel
Ridgway Knight and Louis Aston Knight, 5 May -18 June 1989, no. 51.