Charming Scene of Broadway in Winter
"New-York Winter Scene in Broadway / Scene d'Hiver dans Broadway", Sebron, H.
Subject: New York City, New York
Period: 1857 (dated)
Color: Hand Color
34 x 23.5 inches
86.4 x 59.7 cm
This grand scene was engraved by Paul Girardet after Hippolyte Victor Valentin Sebron's painting and published by the famous art dealer Michael Knoedler. The view looks down Broadway between Spring and Prince Streets. The Prescott Hotel, at the corner of Spring Street, was opened in 1852. Next to it, a building bearing the name Ceinese Buildings [Chinese] later becomes the infamous Buckley's Minstrel Hall. The lively street scene is filled with people and carriages, including a private one carrying a family at bottom right, and a public carriage beside it with several dozen passengers. A fire truck and firemen add to the traffic confusion in the scene. Sheet size measures 35.6 x 26.8".
Hippolyte Victor Valentin Sebron (1801–1879) was a French painter of views, portraits, and landscapes. He was a student of Louis Daguerre in Paris, and traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Mediterranean and North America for inspiration. Sebron spent six years in America, from 1849-55, painting numerous views, including this one of Broadway for which he is most famous.
Michael Knoedler, the publisher, emigrated from France in 1846 to manage the New York branch gallery of Goupil, Vibert & Cie, a major French art dealer. In 1857, Knoedler purchased the New York branch from Goupil and established his own business. Because the Knoedler gallery was founded before most museums in America were established, it played a key role as a conduit for works by master artists, which eventually filled American museum collections.
Attractive color on heavy paper with very light soiling, a crease in top left corner, very light scattered foxing in blank margins, and a few small abrasions, including one on the face of the fireman with the horn. There are three archivally repaired tears: one that enters 1" into image at left, another that barely enters image at top left, and the third confined to right blank margin.