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The Well

Daniel Ridgway Knight

American Art

Like many Americans of his generation, Daniel Ridgway Knight sought his academic training in Paris, where he remained as an expatriate from 1873. The Well, which is typical of the sentimentalized peasant subjects that occupied French-trained Americans and pleased their audiences at home, demonstrates the detailed character of Knight’s early work. In keeping with the rigorous French academic method, he executed extensive preparatory subjects prior to undertaking the finished painting. After completing numerous delicate preliminary drawings, Knight transcribed the drawing to his canvas, carefully plotting the compositional lines and fine details that he would follow precisely with his brush. This “underdrawing,” beneath the paint layer, is visible with the use of infrared photography.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
DATES 1880
DIMENSIONS 39 5/16 x 28 15/16 in. (99.9 x 73.5 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Signed lower left: "D. Ridgway Knight· / Paris 1880"
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William E. S. Griswold
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Daniel Ridgway Knight (American, 1839–1924). The Well, 1880. Oil on canvas, 39 5/16 x 28 15/16 in. (99.9 x 73.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William E. S. Griswold, 41.980.62 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 41.980.62_SL1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 41.980.62_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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