Spring flowers arrive on a rainy Village sidewalk

Few artists painted the moods, rhythms, and rituals of the seasons like John Sloan, who moved to New York from Philadelphia in 1904 and spent the early 20th century in Greenwich Village—living and working for almost a decade at 88 Washington Place.

His windows facing Lower Sixth Avenue “gave Sloan a view of street life from an elevated vantage point, which he frequently incorporated into his paintings,” states the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston.

A real-life wagon loaded with vibrant flowers was the inspiration for his 1924 painting “Flowers of Spring,” which belongs to the MFA.

As Sloan (at left in a self-portrait from 1890) himself recalled in his book Gist of Art:

“This picture has, in a very direct, simple way, handed on the thrill that comes to everyone on a wet spring morning from the first sight of the flower huckster’s wagon. The brilliant notes of the plants surrounded on all sides by wet, city grays.”

Sloan’s beloved wife, Dolly, is the woman on the left with the umbrella.

[Hat Tip: Kathy van Vorhees]

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5 Responses to “Spring flowers arrive on a rainy Village sidewalk”

  1. ksbeth Says:

    this is lovely and yes, the flowers and their return in the spring, must have been a joy to all

  2. Barbara A. Pryce Says:

    This painting so touched me when I first viewed it years ago that I purchased a poster which hung on my wall for that long and always made me think of “those days” during which I wished I had lived.

  3. Laurie Says:

    , barbara contct your cousin Laurie please

  4. The Gramercy mansion in a John Sloan painting | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] often found subjects for his work near Washington Square, or Union or Madison […]

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