This exhibition displays a scene in downtown Brooklyn made around 1820 by the important early landscape painter Francis Guy (1760–1820). Representing the bustling village on a winter day, these monumental paintings have become iconic images of early-nineteenth-century Brooklyn.
In Winter Scene, Guy carefully delineated Brooklyn’s busy intersections and distinctive architecture, as well as the diversity of its inhabitants. While this reportorial approach suggests a local focus, the paintings participate in broader artistic trends that distinguished American scenery as a source of aesthetic beauty and national pride. Guy’s representation of the Brooklyn community comprises a range of professional, social, and ethnic groups and testifies to a Brooklyn that was marked by diversity then, as it is now.