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Winter Scene in Brooklyn

Francis Guy

American Art

On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, Imagining the New Nation’s Landscape, 1800–1880
By the time the Brooklyn Institute (the Museum’s forerunner) acquired this work in 1846, downtown Brooklyn was already much changed from the village depicted by Francis Guy. This picturesque cityscape appealed to those living in the rapidly developing East. Observers at the time noted that at the heart of the image was the “old-fashioned” Dutch-style barnyard of Abiel Titus. This feature greatly contrasted with the elegant houses originally included at left, before the painting was damaged by fire in 1881.

Painted from the vantage point of the artist’s second-story window facing Front Street, it included what were considered to be lifelike portraits of many of his neighbors. A printed “key” identifying them accompanied this work in its 1820 exhibition.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
DATES ca. 1819-1820
DIMENSIONS 58 3/8 x 74 9/16 in. (148.2 x 189.4 cm) frame: 69 3/4 x 85 x 5 in. (177.2 x 215.9 x 12.7 cm)
INSCRIPTIONS Inscribed on sign on fence: "To be Seen / A View / [illegible] / Brookyn / By / Guy / [illegible]"
CREDIT LINE Transferred from the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences to the Brooklyn Museum
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