Daniel Ridgway l Ridgway Knight’s works represent so many aspects of Nineteenth Century painting, including history, genre, landscape, portrait and floral themes. In each work, all that is aesthetic is recorded with fine detail and skill.In order to faithfully record the scenery, night studied the different phases of the day and their effects on the environment. Knight built a glass studio outside of his home, enabling him to paint outdoors, even in the dead of winter. Whether he was concentrating on the evening with the glow of moonlight upon the Seine River or on a young woman in a brightly colored flower garden at midday, each scene is depicted with great detail and with specific attention to a realistic portrayal of the landscape.
Daniel Ridgway Knight [1839-1924] was born on March 15, in Pennsylvania. He studied and exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, were he was a classmate of Mary Cassatt and Thomas Eakins. In 1861, he went to Paris to study at l’École des Beaux-Arts under Cabanel and to apprentice in the atelier of Charles-Gabriel-Gleyre. He returned to Philadelphia in 1863 to serve in the Union Army. During the war, Knight practiced sketching facial expressions and capturing human emotion in his work. He sketched battle scenes, recording the war for history. He founded the Philadelphia Sketch Club, where he showed works that dealt with the Civil War, mythology and scenes from opera. In 1871 Knight married Rebecca Morris Webster and after the wedding he began working as a portrait painter in order to make enough money to return to France.