Paul Cornoyer (American, 1864–1923)
Paris in Winter, 1891
Oil on canvas, 17 H. x 24 W. inches
Signed and dated: PAUL CORNOYER/ PARIS 91
American painter Paul Cornoyer, best known for his Impressionist, tonalist, and sometimes pointillist style, was born in 1864 in St. Louis, Missouri. He began his studies of painting at the School of Fine arts in 1881, following the Barbizon style and first exhibiting in 1887. Moving to Paris in 1889, he studied at the Academie Julien under Jules Lefebvre and Jean-Joseph Benjamin Constant. During this time, his work began to take on a more lyrical and tonal style, exemplified in this atmospheric piece.
He returned to St. Louis in 1894, but found limited success. William Merritt Chase, a supporter who acquired some of his work, suggested he move to New York City, which he did in 1899. His style aligned in some ways with the Ashcan School, though his urban scenes were more romantic and dreamlike. The Albright-Knox Art Gallery hosted a show of his work in 1908, and Cornoyer was elected to the National Academy of Design as an Associate Academician the following year. He taught for the rest of his life, at the Mechanics Institute in New York and later in Massachusetts, where he moved in 1917.