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A Nineteenth Century New Rochelle Painter by Peggy Godfrey
It was in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid that a painter who lived in New Rochelle from 1844 and l852 came to my attention. His painting, Fishing Party on Long Island Sound off New Rochelle, was in the North American Paintings of the Nineteen Century section. The artist's address in New Rochelle was determined by the address used when he exhibited paintings.
Clonney, a genre painter, portrayed people in domestic scenes using human interest elements. People and their relationships dominate his paintings. The old man in this fishing party painting is watching the younger, plump man. Several other paintings used the plump man in them which leads to the conclusion he was probably a New Rochelle resident.
At this time there is an exhibit at the New York State Museum in Albany titled,Through the Eyes of Others: African Americans and Identity in American Art," which has another Clonney painting, "Politicians in a Country Bar," dated l844. This portrays a serious discussion by men, but has a woman and a black man in the edges of the picture which is considered the artist's way of showing these groups were marginalized by society at that time.