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biography of Daniel Ridgway KNIGHT (1839-1924)

Birth place: Philadelphia, PA

Death place: Rolleboise-par-Bonniers, France

Addresses: Paris, Rolleboise-par-Bonnieres, Seine-et-Oise, near Poissy, France

Profession: Genre and figure painter

Studied: PAFA, prior to 1861; …cole des Beaux Arts, Paris, 1861-63, with Gleyre, returned in 1872 (through 1875) to study with Meissonier; Acad. di San Lucca (then in Venice), 1863

Exhibited: PAFA Ann., 1858-1910 (12 times); NAD, 1870-78; Boston Athenaeum; Paris Salon, 1873, 1875-77, 1879-83, 1885-89 (1888, medal), 1891-99, 1921; Brooklyn AA, 1878, 1881, 1884, 1887; Boston AC, 1880; Munich, 1888 (gold); Paris Expo, 1889 (medal); World's Columbian Expo, 1893 (medal); Antwerp Expo, 1894 (medal). Other Awards: Officer of the Legion of Honor France, 1889; Knight of St. Michael of Bavaria.

Member: Paris SAP; Phila. Sketch Cl. (founder, 1861)

Work: PAFA (Hailing the Ferry"); Brooklyn Inst. Mus."

Comments: An expatriate plein-air painter, Knight spent most of his career in France, although he exhibited frequently in America. He was best known for his paintings of idealized young peasant women, rendered in a crisp, academic style, and placed in a sunlit landscape, often with a cottage by a riverside. His most well-known painting, Hailing the Ferry" (1888, PAFA), won praise and awards in both France and America. The work was soon after issued as a lithograph and became one of the most copied of American 19th-century paintings, even appearing on scarves and a tapestry. During the First World War Knight worked for the French government as a pictorial propagandist.

Sources: G&W (puts birth date at 1840); DAB; Art Annual, XXI, obit. (puts birth date at 1839); CAB; Clement and Hutton; Thieme-Becker; Rutledge, PA; Swan, BA; Naylor, NAD; Fink, American Art at the Nineteenth-Century Paris Salons, 206-208, 363; 300 Years of American Art, 311; Detroit Inst. of Arts, The Quest for Unity, 234-235 (puts birth date at 1839); Blaugrund, Paris 1889, 179 (puts birth date at 1839); Falk, Exh. Record Series.

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