Thistlethwaite Americana | Hudson River Nocturne
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Americana Antiques_-54

Hudson River Nocturne

Alfred Thompson Bricher (1837-1908)


Oil on Canvas

17 1/2″ H x 27″ W


Known as one of the 19th century’s greatest maritime painters, here Bricher captures the peacefulness of the nocturnal scene on the Hudson River. The painting presents a wonderful dichotomy of an otherwise busy and crowded waterway during this time period. It is documented that in the 19th century, the Hudson River Valley was the inspiration behind the famed the Hudson River School of landscape artists. Alfred Thompson Bricher was known to be one of the last painters to emerge from this group.


Born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Bricher grew up in Newburyport, Massachusetts, and by 1851 was working in Boston. He became a professional painter in 1858, after meeting Charles Temple Dix and William Stanley Haseltine while sketching at Mount Desert, Maine. The following year he had his own studio in Newburyport. During the 1860s, Bricher made pictures for L. Prang and Company’s print catalogue; like many New England artists of this period, he sought to bring his work before a wider public. In 1868 he married and moved his studio to New York, but over the next decades spent a great deal of time traveling, primarily sketching seascapes up and down the Atlantic coast. Most of his summer trips were to the New England states. On these trips he made landscape studies that were later transformed into oils and luminous watercolors. He was particularly impressed with Grand Manan Island off the Maine coast in the Bay of Fundy, whose rugged cliffs and surrounding sea he drew and painted for seventeen years.


WHY WE LOVE IT: IN a world of technology and constant communication, the piece brings us a sense of peace, and quietness and forces us to stop for a moment in time to appreciate it.