Enchanting rainy evenings in the Gilded Age city

Impressionist painter Charles Constantin Hoffbauer, born in 1875, must have loved the rain.


He painted many scenes of streetlights and roadways and cable cars and black-clad people slick with rain, some depicting his native Paris but many of New York, where he arrived just before 1910.

His New York is an evening or nighttime city on the move, one of melancholy skies illuminated by billboards and store windows.


The exact location of each scene isn’t always clear, but the first image could be close to Times Square, with the Times building in the back.

Next up is the very recognizable New York Public Library main building, an El station off in the distance.


The third might be Madison Square Park’s Met Life Tower, flanked by the second version of Madison Square Garden in dark shadows.

More images of a stormy, moody city can be found here.

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5 Responses to “Enchanting rainy evenings in the Gilded Age city”

  1. Joe R Says:

    That first painting is a view from 34th Street looking up Broadway. The old NY Herald Building is on the right.

  2. Phil D Basket Says:

    2nd Painting seems to be 42nd St looking west from between 5th & 6th Ave. 42nd St. Library on left. 6th Avenue El, and the New York Times Tower to the right.

  3. Michael McKenna Says:

    The first photo is Herald Square,with the NY Herald building on the right. It is now home to Macy’s,but the owl clock and statue are still un the square and amazingly working.

  4. Linkage: Getting Renter's Insurance; Ford Dealership Wants $230M - Hudson Real EstateHudson Real Estate Says:

    […] Should you get renter’s insurance? [Gothamist] · Charles Hoffbauer’s scenes of NYC in the rain [ENY] · Check out this 19th C. “stench map” of NYC [CL] · Aerial footage of East […]

  5. Dining “among the rooftops” of New York in 1905 | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] would come to New York in 1909 and paint many enchanting, atmospheric landscapes street scenes that captured the city’s day and nighttime […]

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