The City from Greenwich Village is a lyrical celebration of the vitality and excitement of life in lower Manhattan. Looking south over Sixth Avenue from the artist's Washington Place studio on a rainy winter evening, electric light merges with moonlight, casting an evocative golden glow over the city. At the far left, New York's skyscrapers seem to hover over the city like a shimmering celestial vision. Sloan's painting conveys a nostalgic, romanticized mood, one that contrasts strongly with the scenes of tenement life, teeming city streets, and desolate back alleys that he and fellow members of the "Ash Can School" had produced during the first decade of the century.
The artist's ambiguous reference to "moonshine" on the billboard in the left foreground both documents the city's commercialization and lends a poetic aura to the scene. This urban imagery may be seen as a precursor to American art of the 1960s, when Pop artists appropriated advertising motifs and Photo-realists immortalized the architectural richness of New York.
lower left: John Sloan
Marks and Labels
Estate of the artist; gift 1970 to NGA.
- Sixth Annual Exhibition of The Society of Independent Artists, Waldorf Astoria, New York, 1922, no. 701.
- Twenty-First Annual International Exhibition of Paintings, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, 1922, no. 108, as The City, from Greenwich.
- Baltimore Charcoal Club, 1923.
- Detroit Institute of Art, 1924, no. 30.
- Pan-American Exhibition, Los Angeles Museum, 1925.
- The Thirty-Eighth Annual Exhibition of American Paintings and Sculpture, Art Institute of Chicago, 1925, no. 200, as New York from Greenwich Village.
- Sesqui-Centennial International Exposition, Department of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 1926, no. 280.
- The Tenth Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary American Oil Paintings, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1926, no. 259, as The City from Greenwich.
- John Sloan, Montross Gallery, New York, 1934, no. 14.
- John Sloan: Retrospective Exhibition, Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, 1938, no. 18, repro.
- 46th Annual Exhibition, Nebraska Art Association, Lincoln, 1939, no. 39.
- The Forty-Sixth Annual Exhibition of American Art, Cincinnati Art Museum, 1939.
- John Sloan, Art Department, University of Missouri, Columbia, 1940.
- Oil Paintings by John Sloan, Currier Gallery of Art, Manchester, New Hampshire, 1940.
- Development of an American Style, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1941.
- Fort Worth Art Association, 1941.
- Living American Painters, John Herron Art Museum, Indianapolis, 1943, no. 53.
- Romantic Painting in America, travelling exhibition organized by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1943-1945, no. 184, repro.
- Artists of the Press, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1945, no. 63.
- John Sloan: Painting and Prints. Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Retrospective, Carpenter Galleries, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, 1946, no. 12.
- John Sloan Paintings, Dayton Art Institute, 1948.
- John Sloan: Retrospective Exhibition, Kraushaar Galleries, New York, no. 20, repro.
- The Turn of the Century: American Artists 1890-1920, Des Moines Art Center, 1949, unnumbered catalogue.
- John Sloan 1871-1951, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio, 1952, no. 52, repro.
- Oil Paintings by John Sloan, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, November-December 1961, no. 7.
- The Life and Times of John Sloan, Delaware Art Center, Wilmington, 1961, no. 29, repro.
- The Art of John Sloan 1871-1951, Walker Art Museum, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, 1962, no. 46, repro.
- John Sloan 1871-1951, Natl. Gal. of Art, Washington, D.C.; Georgia Mus. of Art, Athens; M.H. DeYoung Mem. Mus., San Francisco; City Art Mus. of St. Louis; Columbus Gal. of Fine Arts, Ohio; Penn. Acad. of the Fine Arts, Phil., 1971-1972, no. 135, repro.
- John Sloan: Paintings, Prints, Drawings,travelling exhibition organized by Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, 6 venues, 1981-1983, no. 13, repro. (shown only in Hanover).
- The Railroad in the American Landscape: 1850-1950, Wellesley College Museum, Wellesley, Massachusetts, 1981, no. 53, repro.
- Japanese Artists Who Studied in U.S.A. and The American Scene, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, 1982, no. 78, color repro.
- Museo de los Museos: arte universal a través de los tiempos, Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, 1984, no. 42, repro.
- Night Lights: 19th and 20th Century American Nocturne Paintings, The Taft Museum, Cincinnati, 1985, unnumbered catalogue, repro.
- John Sloan: Spectator of Life, IBM Gallery of Science and Art, New York; Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington; Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio; Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, 1988, no. 97, repro.
- Seeing the City: Sloan's New York, Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington; Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg, Pennsylvania; David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago; Reynolda House, Museum of American Art, Winston-Salem, 2007-2009, unnumbered catalogue, fig. 52.
- Scott, David W. "The City from Greenwich Village." Studies in the History of Art v.4 (1971-72):106-119, repro.
- American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1980: 223, repro.
- Wilmerding, John. American Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Art. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1980: 17, no. 55, color repro.
- Williams 1981, 209. repro. 210-11, color repro. 224.
- Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 572, no. 876, color repro.
- Wilmerding, John. American Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Art. Rev. ed. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1988: 170, no. 62, color repro.
- American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 337, repro.
- National Gallery of Art, Washington. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 250, repro.
- Dougherty, James. Walt Whitman and the Citizen's Eye. Baton Rouge, 1993: 264-266, repro. 265.
- Lamia, Stephen. “Night." In Encyclopedia of Comparative Iconography: Themes Depicted in Works of Art. Edited by Helene E. Roberts. 2 vols. Chicago, 1998: 2:657.
- Hand, John Oliver. National Gallery of Art: Master Paintings from the Collection. Washington and New York, 2004: 404, no. 334, color repro.