Beautiful New York

A Celebration of the City

Top 20 Greatest NYC Paintings — #19

Broadway at Spring Street by Hippolyte Sebron

03-06 Broadway at Spring Street

The foreign traveler frequently sees New York and sees chaos. French artist, Hippolyte Sebron was no exception. On his way to Niagara Falls, he lived in the city for a short time, near Spring & Broadway. And the cacophonous tumult of that corner became the subject of one of his most famous paintings. Like the city itself, the image is awash in contradictions: The stern and serious missionaries on the left and the raucous revelers in the four-horse open sleigh, the calm routine of the workmen with their ladder and the sudden springing into action of the firemen, the oblivious self-absorption of the well-to-do family on the right and the careful and watchful eye of the police officers on the left, all contribute to the tableau. Add to this the fact that the whole image begins by evoking both snow and fire, and you have the perfect storm of haphazard extremes that is New York.

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