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Winter Twilight

Sanford Robinson Gifford was a successful landscape painter who was one of the founders of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. After traveling abroad to study the works of the Old Masters in the 1850s, he spent the majority of the 1860s painting in the American northeast. Winter Twilight may have been painted near his family’s home in Hudson, New York. Gifford’s masterful treatment of light and atmosphere elevates the everyday subject of three ice skaters huddled on a frozen pond. A critic who saw this painting in Gifford’s studio remarked that it was one of the artist’s “happiest efforts…with its still, dream-like beauty.”

Sanford Robinson Gifford
American, 1823‒1880
Winter Twilight
1862
Oil on canvas
15 ½ x 30 1/16 in. (39.4 x 76.4 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Morton and Marie Bradley Memorial Collection, 80.112