Bricher, Alfred Thompson – American Artist

Alfred Thompson Bricher (American, New York/New Hampshire, 1837-1908) oil on canvas painting, Calm Inlet, possibly Bailey's Island, Maine, signed

p4A ItemID E8867063
Alfred Thompson Bricher (American, New York/New Hampshire, 1837-1908) oil on canvas painting, Bailey's Hill, Nahant, unsigned

p4A ItemID E8867062
Alfred Thompson Bricher oil on canvas painting, Rocky Shoreline, signed

p4A ItemID E8865348
Alfred Thompson Bricher oil on panel, View of the Coast, possibly Narragansett, signed

p4A ItemID F7967210

Alfred Thompson Bricher (1837 to 1908)

Alfred T. Bricher was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, April 10, 1837. He took art lessons at Lowell Institute in Boston from 1851 to 1858.

By 1856, his work focused on landscapes, particularly coastal landscapes. He spent time painting in New Hampshire with Albert Bierstadt, William Morris Hunt, and others. From 1858-1868, he maintained a studio in Boston and there familiarized himself with the work of Fitz Hugh Lane and Martin Johnson Heade. During the summer in the 1870s and 1880s, Bricher painted along the coasts of Massachusetts, Maine (Monhegan Island), Rhode Island, and Long Island. A prolific artist, he worked primarily in watercolors and oils, and many lithographs were made after his work. Bricher is considered an important member of the second generation of the Hudson River School and an important American luminist. He is best known for his detailed depictions of the New England coast, and particularly for his ability to capture the interplay of the light and water.

Bricher was a member of the NAD, the American Watercolor Society, and the Boston Art Club. He exhibited at the NAD, the Boston Athenaeum, the Brooklyn Art Academy, and the Boston Art Club. His papers are in the collection of the Archives of American Art.

Bricher first visited Narragansett Bay, on New England’s southern shore, in 1871. He was immediately taken by the worn roseate sandstone, open sky, filtered sunlight, and softly swelling sea that are so characteristic of this coast in the summer; they became his primary theme for the next three years. In selecting Narragansett as a theme, he captured the natural ambiance around the ocean and its coast with ease and finesse.

P4A acknowledges the assistance of Cowan’s Auctions Inc. and Shannons Fine Arts Auctioneers and Bruce Chambers, Ph.D. in preparing this reference note.


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