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