American, 1837-1908

Rocky Coast at Grand Manan

oil on canvas
signed lower left "A T Bricher"
18 x 38 inches

  • Provenance: Kennedy Galleries, New York, New York (label on the reverse); Christie's, New York, New York, December 4, 1997, lot 13; Private Collection, Georgia

    Framed dimensions: 29 x 49 x 3 inches

    Alfred Thompson Bricher was one of America's best-known seascape painters of the nineteenth century. Unlike the artists of the two generations preceding, who sought untamed wilderness in the Catskill Mountains, the White Mountains, and the Adirondacks, Bricher specialized in picturesque scenes of the New England seaboard. Today Bricher is widely appreciated by art historians for his mastery of Luminist realism. As a Luminist painter, he was predominantly interested in the pictorial effects of light and translucency. It is always possible to ascertain specifics such as the time of day, weather conditions, and geography in his work, yet his paintings manifest a spiritual quality that was an important component of the Hudson River School.

    In 1879 Bricher was elected an Associate member of the National Academy of Design. His work was seen regularly in the annual exhibitions of both the Academy and the American Watercolor Society. Bricher also exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Boston Art Club, and the gallery of James Gill in Springfield, Massachusetts. Following a second marriage in 1881, he built a summer home and studio in Southampton, Long Island. "Here he interpreted the expansive coast and quaint village areas in paintings displayed at annual exhibitions from 1882 until 1894. He painted all along the south shore of Long Island. He exhibited views of rugged Montauk Point at the eastern tip between 1882 and 1885; Water Mills, adjacent to Southampton from 1882 to 1888; Patchogue and Blue Point on Great South Bay protected from the Atlantic by Fire Island from 1886-91; further west, Freeport and Far Rockaway from 1888 to 1891; and Wantagh in 1893."1

    By the time he died in 1908, Bricher's career had spanned a period of momentous evolution in American art, indeed from the era of the Hudson River School to the imminent appearance of Synchromism, or color abstraction. When Bricher died at New Dorp on September 30, 1908, his obituary commented, "[Bricher] did not receive the notice in the press that the artist's ability and reputation deserved."

    Today New England seascapes by Bricher are in the permanent collections of many of America's most prestigious museums, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the White House, The Wadsworth Atheneum and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, to name only a few.

    1 Jeffrey R. Brown, assisted by Ellen W. Lee, Alfred Thompson Bricher, 1837-1908, (Indianapolis, Indiana: Indianapolis Museum of Art, 1973).

    Tags: oil painting, seascape / coastal / marine, listed artist, 19th century
  • Condition: in very good overall condition; unlined canvas; very minor crazing in the lower half of the painting; no restoration apparent under UV

    We are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Shannon’s is merely a subjective qualified opinion. Frames on all paintings are sold "As Is". Frames may need some conservation. 

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