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Robert Weir's Saint Nicholas: A Knickerbocker Icon

Lauretta Dimmick
The Art Bulletin
Vol. 66, No. 3 (Sep., 1984), pp. 465-483
Published by: College Art Association
DOI: 10.2307/3050448
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3050448
Page Count: 19
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Robert Weir's Saint Nicholas: A Knickerbocker Icon
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Abstract

In 1837 Robert Weir painted Saint Nicholas, which had a special appeal to the Knickerbockers, his fellow members in the liveliest cultural movement of early 19th-century America. Its earliest version is here published for the first time. It captured the Knickerbockers' conception of their "patron saint," whom they had revived with an invented mythology relating Nicholas and the sons of his favored city, New York. Rejecting the idea that Weir's painting is no more than an illustration of Moore's poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas," the work is here restored to its Knickerbocker context, illuminating the cultural history of early 19th-century America.

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