Twilight on the Sound, Darien, Connecticut

Artist: John Frederick Kensett (American, Cheshire, Connecticut 1816–1872 New York)

Date: 1872

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 11 1/2 x 24 1/2 in. (29.2 x 62.2 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of Thomas Kensett, 1874

Accession Number: 74.24


Kensett normally left the dramatic spectacles of sunrises, sunsets, dawns and twilights to colleagues such as Frederic Church and Sanford Gifford. However, especially in summer 1872, when he painted exclusively from and around the island he owned in Long Island Sound, he explored light and color more liberally than he ever had, his attention confined daily to the uninflected contours of the water and coastal topography. The better then to render the various tones and tints of the sky and its reflection in the water in delicious studies such as this, where earthly features are lost in silhouette and the air and water briefly acquire the warmth of human flesh.