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This painting presents a view of daily life in Brooklyn, New York. Francis Guy painted the busy intersection of Front, James, and Fulton Streets from the window of his second-floor studio. To capture the architecture and receding space, Guy placed gauze in front of his window and “traced” the scene with chalk, then transferred the sketch onto his canvas.

The people he portrayed were his neighbors. An anonymous African American laborer cuts wood in the foreground, while at left, a butcher named Jacob Patchen strolls along carrying a leg of mutton, and carpenter Benjamin Meeker stands at center, holding a square and measuring pole.

Details

  • Title: Winter Scene in Brooklyn
  • Creator: Francis Guy
  • Date Created: 1820
  • Physical Dimensions: 58 x 106 in. (147.3 x 269.2 cm)
  • Provenance: Estate of the Artist, 1820. Samuel McLean [1820-1893], Brooklyn, NY; given to Brooklyn Club, New York, NY, 1889; purchased by Richard A. Manoogian [b.1936], Detroit, MI, 1983; purchased by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR, 2006
  • Subject Keywords: street scenes
  • Rights: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas.
  • External Link: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Smarthistory
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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