Skip to Content

Alfred Thompson Bricher

Showing 1 of 1

Print this page

Alfred Thompson Bricher does not have an image.

Alfred Thompson Bricher
Painter known for coastal views, marine, landscape, genre painting
American, (4/10/1837–9/30/1908)
Considered one of the greatest maritime painters during the late nineteenth century, Alfred Thompson Bricher (1837 - 1908) was a member of the last generation of artists known as the Hudson River School. His career spanned more than fifty years during which he was highly recognized by the public and the art world alike. As with many artists of the late nineteenth century, Bricher lived to see the style of work he produced become overshadowed by the onset of modernism.
Born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Bricher concentrated on images of the sea. As a luminist painter, he was particularly interested in the pictorial effects of light and translucency. His paintings express a spiritual quality, which was an important component of Hudson River School painting. Bricher continued to paint in a luminist style that exuded peace and harmony even throughout the tumult of the Civil War. His persistence in this reflects his belief that the acts of man have no impact on the continuity and supreme power of nature.
In this painting of Point Judith, Narragansett, Rhode Island, Bricher shows no sign of man to break the tranquillity of nature as seen in the waves rolling onto the shoreline. The rocks jutting into the water present an impediment to the waves that may be analagous to the adversities faced by man over the course of a lifetime. Similarly, the golden light of sunset's afterglow is a reminder of the sublime and the presence of God in nature.

This biography was submitted by Pierce Galleries Inc
Alfred Thompson Bricher (American, 1837-1908)

Bricher was born on April 10, 1837, in New Dorp, New York and was mostly self-taught. He spent his childhood in Newburyport, MA, although he took art lessons at Lowell Institute in Boston from 1851-1858. He became a professional painter in 1858 and was a member of the American Water Color Society, the Boston Art Club, and an Associate of the National Academy in 1879. He moved permanently to NYC in 1868 and then settled in Staten Island.

He painted in Shinnecock, Narragansett, Chatham, Cape Cod, Southampton and along the MA and ME coastlines. He exhibited at the National Academy from 1868-1890 and at the Boston Athenaeum and Brooklyn Art Association from 1870-1886. He is represented in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery, the Terra Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Indianapolis Museum of Art and elsewhere.

Bricher was a significant second-generation Hudson River School landscapist and marine painter who is considered to be the last of the relevant American luminists. He is best known for his marine paintings depicting New England shorelines, in which crashing waves show the dynamic forces of nature.

With ease and finesse he captured the natural ambiance around the ocean and its coasts and the artist’s reverence for the presence of what is before him is apparent. Keeping in step with the philosophical beliefs of his era, the artist was concerned with equating to canvas the resplendence of nature and the morality of his convictions.

A.T. Bricher is highly sought-after and in great demand because each of his canvases and watercolors show resplendently and with confident brushwork how nature looked during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Alfred Bricher devoted most of his career to marine painting along the eastern seaboard. He was considered one of the last of the luminist artists, and did paintings, often in watercolor, that convey reflective and atmospheric effects of light on water and air at different times of the day and under varying weather conditions. As a watercolorist, he also depicted good-looking female figures.

Bricher grew up in Newburyport, Massachusetts, and largely self taught, he studied in his leisure hours at the Lowell Institute in Boston and also attended an academy in Newburyport, Massaschusetts.

He began painting landscapes in 1856, and in the 1860s, Bricher followed his contemporaries to paint the popular vistas of the White Mountains in New Hampshire. There, particularly at North Conway, he studied and painted with Albert Bierstadt, William Morris Hunt, Gabriella Eddy, and Benjamin Champney.

In Boston, where he had a studio from 1858 to 1868, he was also exposed to the artistic community of many important nineteenth-century marine and landscape painters including Fitz Hugh Lane and Martin Johnson Heade. He was also highly prolific, an example being that he created twenty finished paintings between 1860 and 1861.

Attesting to his popularity as an artist, as well as the popularity of his subject matter, are numerous chromolithographs made after his work. He completed a number of lithographs of the four seasons for the chromo lithographer, Louis Prang & Company.

In 1868, he moved from Boston to New York, and from 1890, lived on Staten Island in New York Harbor. However, most of his subject matter came from sketching trips on Massachusetts, Maine and Jersey coasts and in Rhode Island and New Hampshire. He also painted numerous scenes of Grand Manan Island in the Bay of Fundy.

In 1874, he became a member of the American Society of Painters in Watercolors. He was elected an associate of the National Academy of Design in 1879, and from 1874 to 1894, he exhibited his paintings at the Boston Art Club.

Credit: Spanierman Gallery
** It is our intention to give accurate credit to our sources. If you see credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at

Artist Objects

Your current search criteria is: Artist is "Alfred Thompson Bricher".