Posts Tagged ‘art of New York City’

A French artist’s moody, magical New York

December 3, 2012

Born in Paris in 1875, Charles Constantin Hoffbauer studied under top 19th century French masters and painted scenes all over Europe.

Hoffbauermadisonsquare

In New York on commission in 1906, he captured the city’s many moods: enchanting rain-slicked sidewalks in Times Square (below), the blue glow of twilight at Madison Square (above), and the festive lights blazing over a snow-covered Theater District (last painting).

Hoffbauerimessquareatnight

Hoffbauer’s city is on the move. Pedestrians dart between automobiles, and horse-drawn carriages and cars navigate traffic jams. These scenes all look like the occur at twilight, that in-between time when the workday ends and evening entertainment begins.

Hoffbauerwintryevetimessquare1927

These paintings were created between 1906 and 1927. Though he returned to his home country after his time in New York, Hoffbauer arrived in the U.S. for good in 1941, having escaped occupied France with an eye toward becoming an American citizen.

“The Glow of the City,” 1929

July 21, 2010

Australian-born artist Martin Lewis casts a magical glow on an otherwise gritty city scene of laundry, fire escapes, and tenements. 

That’s the Chanin Building, an Art Deco skyscraper on 42nd Street, the woman is gazing at dreamily.

It’s just one of Lewis’ many drypoint etchings that capture New York street life in the 1920s and 1930s.

A misty, muted view of the East River

January 20, 2010

“East River Scene” by American painter Elias Ben Delman gives us smoke-spewing tugboats, murky blue-gray water, and a Manhattan skyline that seems obscure and awfully far away.

This painting has something subdued yet magical going on. I wish I knew more about the artist and the scene he chose to depict. 


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