American, (1823-1892)
Icebergs, 1883
oil on canvas backed by panel
signed, dated and inscribed lower right "W. Bradford / 1883 N.Y." signed and dated on the reverse

oil on canvas backed by panel
12 x 20 inches

  • Provenance: Property from a distinguished American collection.
    The marine painter, William Bradford, was born and raised in Fairhaven Massachusetts, near New Bedford, to Quaker parents who discouraged his passion for art. Despite his parents' disapproval, he made painting his career in the early 1850s, working as a ship portrait artist.

    In 1854, Bradford established a studio in New Bedford with Dutch painter Albert Van Beest and acquired a local reputation for his seascapes and whaling pictures. Sometime between 1854 and 1857, Bradford made the first of eight trips to Labrador, fueling a long and consuming interest in the Arctic. During much of his career, his work focused on the Arctic region, which he depicted with strong color and spectacular lighting.

    He returned from an 1862 journey to Labrador with sketches of the dangerous frozen region and the ships that navigated it and transformed them into luminous finished paintings in his studio. Those pictures, in turn, financed his next excursion to the Arctic. Bradford eventually became a popular lecturer on the region, publishing an album of 29 photographs of Greenland in 1869. The book, The Arctic Regions (London: S. Low, Marston. Low and Searle, 1873) was illustrated with Bradford's own photographs.

    Bradford made his last trip to the Arctic in 1869, but continued to execute paintings of icebergs, frozen shorelines, and icebound ships for the rest of his career. He was elected in 1874 as an associate member of the National Academy of Design in New York.

    The current composition, Icebergs, 1883 is a masterful example from the artist's Arctic oeuvre, depicting the dramatic sky, the coldness of the iceberg and the movements of the vessels for which he is so widely celebrated.
    Framed dimensions:18 3/4 x 26 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches

    Tags: oil painting, listed artist, Hudson River School, Labrador, Arctic scene, 19th century, seascape / coastal / marine
  • Condition: unlined canvas, in very good condition, some varnish inconsistencies, in a superior quality reproduction frame
    Condition Report Note:
    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. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD “AS IS” IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE. Thank you for your interest in our sale.

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October 28, 2021 6:00 PM EDT
Milford, CT, US


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$500 $999 $50
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$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,000
$50,000 $99,999 $5,000
$100,000 + $10,000