Winter Scene in Brooklyn
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.
Oil on canvas
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)
Inscribed on sign on fence: "To be Seen / A View / [illegible] / Brookyn / By / Guy / [illegible]"
Transferred from the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences to the Brooklyn Museum
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.