| One of the last generation of artists in the Hudson River style, Alfred Thompson Bricher is today considered among the finest American painters of marine subjects. Bricher was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in April,1837. He was largely self-taught but is thought to have studied for a time at the Lowell institute in Boston. Bricher never lived far from the sea, growing up in Newburyport, Massachusetts but moving to Boston in the early 1850’s. An early influence on Bricher was the painter William Stanley Haseltine, whom Bricher met on a sketching trip to Mt. Desert Island in 1858. It was in his Boston years, too, that he likely encountered the Luminist style of Martin Johnson Heade and Fitz Henry Lane. Bricher moved to New York City in 1868. He became a member of the American Society of Painters in Watercolor in 1874 and an Associate of the National Academy in 1879. He was a prolific painter, painting scenes of the north eastern coastline from Canada to Rhode Island. Bricher died on Staten Island in 1908.
Rocky Coast, oil on canvas, signed (faintly) lower right, 10"x17.5" (image); 14.5" x 22" (w/ frame)
Bricher is known today as the last of the important Luminist painters, a style which he likely encountered in Boston during the 1850’s. He painted the coast at different times of day and under different weather conditions. Like his contemporary, Sanford Robinson Gifford, Bricher sought to capture the sublime and spiritual in nature through his treatment of light and atmosphere. Bricher also painted in the White Mountains with Bierstadt and Champney.
Bricher exhibited at the National Academy from 1868 to 1890 and at the Boston Athenaeum and the Brooklyn Art Association from 1870 to 1886. His work can be found today in the Metropolitan Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the White House, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, the Butler Institute, the Nelson-Atkins Museum (Kansas City), and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (Madrid), among many others.
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