Sunset on the Hudson River

Louis Aston Knight (American, b. France, 1873–1948)
1918
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions26 1/8 × 60 1/8 inches
CreditGift of Mrs. Aston Knight, 1959
Accession Number59.2

The sun setting behind the branches of a leaning tree casts the riverbank and sky in a haze of warm, muted colors at dusk. A recent conservation treatment allows this subtle evening coloration to be seen to its best advantage. French-born Louis Aston Knight did not visit the United States until 1905, when the artist was in his 30s. By then, he was an internationally celebrated painter of pastoral scenes of the French countryside.

Throughout his travels, Knight was drawn to the water, whether the Seine, the canals of Venice, the New York Harbor, or the Hudson River, seen here. Although friends with Claude Monet, Knight rebuked the tenets of modernist abstraction, insisting that “nature is beautiful enough to inspire masterpieces to those who are willing to copy it and to give to others the poetical effect nature expresses.”

Exhibition History