East River Snow (Blackwell's Island)
64.2 cm x 81.4 cm (25 1/4 in. x 32 1/16 in.)
Robert Henri (aka Robert Henry Cozad)
(Cincinnati, Ohio, 1865 - 1929, New York City)
North America, American
Medium and Support:
Oil on canvas
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of Mari and James A. Michener, 1991
A stretch of gold just above the horizon line seems to promise relief for New Yorkers living and working along a snow and ice-clogged East River. Robert Henri’s East River Snow (Blackwell's Island) captures the subtle changes of light and color characteristic of an oppressive winter sky.
Henri painted at least fifteen scenes of Blackwell’s Island (now Roosevelt Island) on the East River in New York City. This work, painted early in Henri’s career, reveals Parisian influences with its delicate treatment of light and color. Henri’s dark, brooding palette of grays, browns, and greens is foretelling, though, as it evokes a mood more in tune with the sober realism he would later help create.