Régis François Gignoux
French, 1816–1882, active in the United States
Régis François Gignoux (French, 1816–1882, active in the United States)
Oil on canvas
47 3/4 x 72 1/4 inches
Gift of the West Foundation in honor of Gudmund Vigtel
When Régis Gignoux immigrated to the United States in 1840, landscape painting was in its infancy. By the time he returned to his native France thirty years later, the genre was celebrated as the first authentic American form of expression. Artists sought uniquely New World subjects, such as Niagara Falls, whose epic scale encouraged an equally epic treatment on canvas. Gignoux painted this natural wonder several times and found success with his grand format, dramatic composition, and popular subject matter. This version, at seventy-two inches across, is the largest.