By the mid-1890s, Ridgway Knight and the famed art dealer Knoedler established a contract, which enabled the painter to sell his entire output through the dealer, expect for those he wished to sell privately on his own. Around the same time the artist also decided to purchase a third residence in Rolleboise. The house was 'situated near the top of a high bluff overlooking the village and a bend of the Seine. The view was startlingly beautiful, stretching over cascading rooftops, the river, and miles and miles of fields, meadows, and lines of trees all the way to the horizon' (R. B. Knight, Ridgway Knight: A Master of the Pastoral Genre, Cornell University, 1989, Exhibition catalogue, p. 4).
At this new home in the country Ridgway Knight created an environment resembling the times prior to the industrial revolution. He never installed electricity or a bathroom with running water in the house. The purpose of this environment was to enhance and support his sole dedication to painting. Shortly after his move to Rolleboise, numerous of his students, amateur painters as well as his dealer Knoedler began visiting him thus creating the foundations of the Rolleboise school.
Daniel Ridgway Knight precisely recognized the direction of the naturalist outdoor figural painting as it was carried out by French artists during the same periods. He even constructed a glass studio, separate from his house at Rolleboise, where he could position his models in direct lighting and capture the color nuances fully. In this protected environment he could make best use of natural light and be entirely unaffected by climate. This allowed him to paint his models comfortably at differing times of the day and in all seasons, including the coldest days of the winter. Ridgway Knight's observation of his models, often posed in actual peasant garments, led him to arrive at subtle harmonies of tone and color most effectively seen in a series of canvases dedicated to the theme of harvesters resting, gathering flowers, and enjoying each other's company or the nature itself.
This work has been authenticated by Howard Rehs.