Walking through rainy Union Square in 1912

Looking at John’s Sloan’s foreboding “Spring Rain” makes me feel as if I’m right behind this woman as she walks the slick pavement of an almost empty city park.


That’s exactly the point. “In his 1912 painting Spring Rain, he placed the viewer on a wet path in Union Square by filling the lower edge of the picture—the front edge of the picture plane—with rain-soaked pavement,” writes Nancy Mowll Mathews in Moving Pictures.

“Then Sloan moved the journey diagonally up through the painting as the path recedes into the space of the park. We too seem to be standing on the walkway watching the back of a young lady as she moves though the park. Through the artist’s hand the viewer experiences what it is like to cross the empty park in the mist of a spring rain.”

Red stockings: a fad at the time?

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5 Responses to “Walking through rainy Union Square in 1912”

  1. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    Red Stockings had to do with early feminism

  2. Morning Bites: Great Essays, Jason Molina Tributes, Nabokov’s Plays, Union Square in 1912, and More | Vol. 1 Brooklyn Says:

    […] Never a bad time to look at Spring Rain of Union Square Park.  […]

  3. EV Grieve Etc.: Mourning Edition | NYC Real Estate News Says:

    […] Rainy Union Square in 1912 (Ephemeral New York) […]

  4. Deirdre Says:

    John Sloan I thought I knew!! Not this. Love the red of the stockings echoing the red of a fountain curb.(?) Thanks
    Any idea what the building in the background is? Sorry, I just can’t help myself.

  5. trilby1895 Says:

    Are you sure this isn’t Madison Square Park? A similar painting by Childe Hassam, “Rainy Late Afternoon Union Square” is also evocative of the Gilded Age…love walking through that park in the rain and “remembering”…..

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