John French Sloan — Manhattan Landscape Painting

12 Dec

John French Sloan, Rain, Rooftops, West 4th Street (1913)

Regular followers of this blog know how much I admire the urban genre painting of John French Sloan.  Not long ago I featured Sloan’s paintings of McSorley’s Ale House in lower Manhattan, and awhile back I featured his South Beach Bathers.

Sloan had a genius for depicting the grit of everyday working class life in Manhattan in the first couple of decades of the 20th Century.  In this post I’m featuring several of his paintings of New York neighborhoods, and ordinary New Yorkers going about their day-to-day business.  Sloan never set out to romanticize his human subjects, but their frank humanity always shines through and inspires.  Notwithstanding that these paintings were created 100 years ago, they feel remarkably contemporary.  They remind me, too, of scenes from director Elia Kazan’s great film On the Waterforont.  Several remind me a great deal of Edward Hopper.

I hope you enjoy Sloan’s work as much as I do.

John French Sloan, Red Kimono on the Roof (1912)

John French Sloan, Sun and Wind on the Roof (1915)

John French Sloan, Pigeons (c. 1915)

John French Sloan, Chinese Restaurant (1909)

John French Sloan, Fifth Avenue, New York (c. 1915)

John French Sloan, Sunday, Women Drying Their Hair (1912)

John French Sloan, Sixth Avenue Elevated at Third Street (c. 1912)

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