Daniel Ridgway-Knight was born in Pennsylvania
in 1839. He attended the Pennsylvania Academy
of the Fine Arts from 1858 – 1861
and then traveled to Paris and studied at the
Atelier Gleyre and with Cabanel at the
Ecole des Beaux-Arts from 1861 - 1863.
Knight returned to America to serve in the Army;
he met and married Rebecca Webster and in 1871
He and his bride returned to France -
where they remained for the rest of their lives.
By 1873 Knight moved to Poissy - a rural area just
outside of Paris. It was there that he found the
subject matter that would occupy him for the rest
of his life - the French farm laborer.
A writer in the May, 1876 edition of the Art Journal
writes about Knight's Salon painting entitled
The French Washerwomen: "...the figures are
drawn with remarkable spirit, and in their delineation
much grace of form is show.
It is without that artificial feeling which belongs
to work where the conventional model is called
It was this ability to portray the human figure
so naturally that made Knight so popular not
only in his own lifetime, but even today
He died March 9 1924
He painted peasant women out of doors with
great popular success. He was awarded the silver
medal and Cross of the Legion of Honor,
Exposition Universelle, Paris, 1889,
and was made a Knight of the
Royal Order of St. Michael of Bavaria, Munich, 1893,
and receiving the gold medal of honor from the
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 1893.
His son, Louis Aston Knight (1873 - 1948),
is also known as a landscape painter.