The magical “blue hour” in rainy 1940 New York

It’s the blue hour in “Rainy Day, New York,” a 1940 painting by Leon Dolice—a Vienna-born artist who came to Manhattan in the 1920s.

The sun has sunk below the horizon, and sidewalks and buildings are cast in a blueish glow, illuminated by streetlamps, car headlights, and the reflection of rain-slicked streets.

I’m not sure where Dolice painted this moody, magical scene. But perhaps it doesn’t matter. It’s the feel of the city at twilight he’s captured here—an enchanting, slightly eerie few moments whether in the middle of Times Square or on a lonely side street.

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14 Responses to “The magical “blue hour” in rainy 1940 New York”

  1. beth Says:


  2. Mykole Mick Dementiuk Says:

    I’ve always been fascinated by street lights on rainy nights along Madison Park in the 20s on 5th Ave, mesmerizing…

  3. cj Says:

    Wow, love this painting

  4. Tom Dulski Says:

    great post especially considering todays weather.

  5. Blue Monday, Leon Dolice – This isn't happiness Says:

    […] Blue Monday, Leon Dolice […]


    Thank you for introducing this artist to me. I wonder if you are aware of the work of Wilhelm Thony, another Austrian emigre whose story that ended tragically in a fire in NYC. https://www.wilhelmthö

    • ephemeralnewyork Says:

      No, I had not heard of him, but I love this painting. I’d like to post it soon and introduce more people to his work. Visually unique.

  7. petey Says:

    very nice phrase, “blue hour”. i’ve also noticed that steel-blue/grey tone after sunset.

  8. ironrailsironweights Says:

    Not a bad way to spend a spare $12,000.


  9. The Gilded Age painter devoted to ‘scenes of every-day life around him’ | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] captured light and color: of gaslit lamps, snowy sidewalks, rain-slicked umbrellas, and the sky at the “blue hour” just before […]

  10. Roosevelt Island Historical Society » Tuesday, October 12, 2021 – THE BEAUTY OF HASSAN’S ART NEVER FAILS TO DELIGHT ME Says:

    […] captured light and color: of gaslit lamps, snowy sidewalks, rain-slicked umbrellas, and the sky at the “blue hour” just before […]

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