AFTERNOON LIGHT, VENICE
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Paul Cornoyer was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri where he studied at the School of Fine Arts in 1881 working in a Barbizon style of painting. In 1889, Cornoyer went to Paris for further training, studying at the Academie Julien with the French Master’s Jules LeFebvre, Benjamin Constant and Louis Blanc before returning to St. Louis in 1894. Establishing a studio in New York City, Cornoyer’s art was aligned with the Ash Can School aesthetic although his work was less gritty than the street scenes of Robert Henri, William Glackens, John Sloan, George Bellows, George Luks or Everett Shinn.
The artist was awarded the prestigious Associate American Academician title in 1909 and his New York city and park scenes gained him acclaim and special attention. Cornoyer has exhibited at the following institutions: Paris American Associated Artists 1892 (prize); St. Louis Association of Painter’s and Artist’s 1895 (gold medal); Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts 1896-1919; Art Institute of Chicago; National Academy of Design 1900; Salmagundi Club 1905, 1906, 1908 (prizes for each year); Boston Art Club 1907, 1909; Corcoran Gallery 1907-10 and the Philadelphia Art Club 1917 et al. The artist was also a gifted instructor teaching art at the Mechanics Institute, NYC and summer classes in Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Many of Cornoyer’s New York City urban and park scenes are readily identifiable with such subjects as Washington Square, Bryant Park, Central Park West, Columbus Circle and Madison Square. Cornoyer was particularly skilled at rendering the reflections of rain and wet streets or the soft calm of snow covered winter parks. In Central Park, the Boat Pond the beloved and cherished Water Conservancy near Central Park West and 73rd Street is to our left (the famous “Alice in Wonderland” bronze is directly behind the viewer). Back then as it is today both children and adults enjoy sitting on the benches and watching the sight of the tiny model sailboats that crisscross its placid surface.
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