Dodge Macknight [1860-1950] Modernist Fauvist painting “East Sandwich Massachusetts” circa 1890


Oil on Canvas
26 x 36 inches

Out of stock

Oil on Canvas
26 x 36 inches

Born in Providence, Rhode Island, Dodge MacKnight became a landscape and genre painter of “the scenic wonders of the world,” but another of his favorite subjects was the American West.  Of his bright colors, one reviewer described his painting as “impressionism gone mad” (Vose Gallery).

He apprenticed with a stage-set designer and worked in New Bedford for the Tabor Art Company that made reproductions of paintings and photographs.

In 1883, he studied in Paris in the studio of Fernand Cormon, and also exhibited in the Paris Salons from 1885 through 1887.  In Paris, he became a friend of Vincent VanGogh and visited him several times in Arles.  He then based himself professionally in Massachusetts, and had a long-term relationship with the Doll and Richards Gallery in Boston.  But for fifteen years, he traveled widely in France, Spain, and North Africa.

In 1897, he returned to the United States with his French wife and son, and settled in East Sandwich on Cape Cod but continued to travel world wide.  His garish watercolor paintings were startling to many Bostonians, but influential critics admired him as did widely respected artists such as Philip Hale and Denman Ross.  Prestigious museums including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Stewart Gardner bought his works, and his exhibitions regularly sold out in the 1920s.

In addition to his European travels, he returned often to the West.  He began painting in Utah in 1913, and was at the Grand Canyon a year later from which at least twenty watercolors remain.  In 1920, he first painted at Bryce Canyon, which he wrote was “an extraordinary place, a big hollow a thousand feet deep, filled with thousands of Buddhist temples of an orange pink color.” (Dawdy, 180)

In order to be near his subjects, he traveled with camping gear, sable brushes, watercolors, and Whatman paper in a specially designed case with detachable lid in which wet paintings could be stored.

In 1931, his wife and son died, and he stopped painting but lived another nineteen years.