Daniel Ridgway Knight was a Pennsylvania born American artist, born at Chambersburg in 1839. He is best known for his series of realistic paintings of peasant women out in nature, which proved very popular during his lifetime. He was also known for his landscapes, both of his native Pennsylvania, and that of France.
Knight travelled to France as a young adult where we was accepted to study at the famous École des Beaux-Arts, located in Paris. Knight spent his time here honing his skills and learning from the Swiss master artist and professor at École des Beaux-Arts, Marc Gabriel Charles Gleyre. He next apprenticed under and studied in the studio of renowned French classicist painter, Jean-Louis Ernest Meissonier.
In 1872 Knight settled in France and built his own art studio near the French city of Poissey, situated next to the famously picturesque Seine River. It was at this studio that he painted his most important work, and soon Daniel Ridgeway Knight began to receive a lot of attention, both from inside France and world wide. In Paris in 1889 he was given the silver medal and Cross of the Legion of Honor, Exposition Universelle. In 1893 he was knighted in Munich, Germany, becoming a Knight of the Royal Order of St. Michael of Bavaria. That same year he was also awarded the gold medal of honour in his home state of Pennsylvania from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
After a long and distinguished art career with many honours and accolades Daniel Ridgway Knight passed away in France in the year 1924, leaving behind a son who was to become a landscape painter in his own right.