The Fabulous New York City Paintings Of Paul Cornoyer
We’ve covered Paul Cornoyer (1864-1923) previously and want to showcase some more of his splendid work. He is not a name well known outside of the fine art world, but his New York City paintings are extraordinary and deserve wider appreciation.
Paul Cornoyer was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri where he studied at the School of Fine Art in 1881 working in a Barbizon style of painting. In 1889, Cornoyer went to Paris for further training, and returned to St. Louis in 1894. He came to New York City in 1899 where he established a studio. He remained in New York until 1917 painting various scenes about Manhattan.
Paul Cornoyer’s impressionistic and tonal paintings of New York City at the turn-of-the-century have a genuine charm to them. Cornoyer’s paintings capture a feeling which is difficult to describe. Cornoyer’s work is very different from any of the other Impressionist or Ashcan artists painting New York City at the same time, such as Childe Hassam or John Sloan. Cornoyer’s work is a little bit softer as are his subjects. There is melancholy present in many of his paintings. But Cornoyer also conveys the palpable exuberance of a new century. A city growing, expansively and vertically yet still clinging to its 19th century humanity.
Cornoyer did two things frequently in his renderings of New York. One, he painted the city during inclement weather, while it was raining or soon after a storm. He was very skilled at capturing post-storm light and reflections. The second, is that Cornoyer consistently depicted New York City’s parks. He was particularly fascinated by the Madison Square area and returned time after time to depict the park and its surroundings from several vantage points.
Though these two paintings of Madison Square Park looking east towards the tower of Madison Square Garden seem identical at first glance, they have subtle differences.
Some of Cornoyer’s paintings are held by museums and galleries. This prolific artist has dozens of paintings that are still in private hands and his paintings do come up for sale or auction regularly. Depending upon the quality, age, size, subject and condition of the painting, Paul Cornoyer’s paintings at auctions over the last 20 years have ranged widely in price from $1,000 – $96,000.