Régis Francois Gignoux was a distinguished nineteenth-century artist whose work celebrated the sublime aspects of the American landscape. Born in Lyon, France, Gignoux trained at the Academie des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where his instructor, the history painter Paul-Hipployte Delaroche, encouraged his interest in landscape painting. He traveled to the United States in 1840 in pursuit of an American woman and became entranced with the American wilderness. Devoting himself to both the woman (who became his wife) and the country, Gignoux settled in New York and painted the grand sites of the United States: Niagara Falls, the Catskill Mountains, Mount Washington, and Mammoth Cave, Kentucky. He became famous for his winter landscapes, which showcased his delicate handling of light and atmosphere.
Gignoux quickly established himself within the leading Hudson River School circles of the time. He took sketching trips with Frederic Church and John Frederick Kensett; held a studio at the famed Tenth Street Studio Building; and exhibited at the National Academy of Design, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Paris Salon. As his reputation expanded, he attracted important patrons, including Charles Gould, Baron Rothschild, and the Earl of Ellesmere, and students, including George Inness, and eventually served as the first president of the Brooklyn Art Association. Today, his paintings are in the collections of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the New York Historical Society, and the Georgia Museum of Art.