Bare trees and gray skies in Washington Square

Impressionist-style painter Paul Cornoyer casts his eye toward Washington Square, turning an overcast, dreary-looking day in the park into a fleeting glimpse of ordinary life in turn of the century New York City.


The view looks southeast—the bell tower of Judson Memorial Church is in the background; the fountain visible at left. The white loft building at the far left could be the Shimkin Hall, now part of New York University.

Cornoyer is a U.S. artist who trained in Paris; his paintings of Madison Square, Bryant Park, and Central Park, especially in the rain and at dusk, are atmospheric and magical.

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One Response to “Bare trees and gray skies in Washington Square”

  1. Roger P Says:

    I agree that the building on the left is probably Shimkin. What were those structures in the park, you think? A gazebo and a “Comfort station”?

    The only confusing thing about the painting is the missing Hangman’s tree ( at the entrance. That tree is said to be the oldest one still living in Manhattan (and would have been quite tall and grand when the painting was done) but is missing here. Unless it truly is the tree a few feet back (and to the right) from the entrance.

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