Alvan Fisher USA
8-9-1792 Needham, USA -2-13-1863 Dedham, USABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Alvan Fisher at the age of eighteen, he determined, with the support of his family, to become a painter and began an apprenticeship with John Ritto Penniman in Boston, Massachusetts, along with other young artists such as Charles Codman.
In 1815, at the age of twenty-two, he began his professional career, opening a studio on School Street in Boston. During his first ten years as a painter, he set the tone of his entire career. The growing popularity of landscape and genre painting coincided with the growing population of the United States and an economically improved middle class.
He sketched outdoors and began to compose pastoral scenes in his studio before Thomas Cole, Thomas Doughty, Asher B. Durand, or others of the Hudson River School gave serious attention to nature.
In April, 1825, Alvan Fisher sailed for a tour of the great art centers of Europe. He was the first important American landscapist to make such a tour. He visited England, France, Italy and Switzerland, countries considered important for any artist's professional stature and artistic maturation. In London he visited private collections and was inspired by the composition and subject matter of landscapes by Claude Lorrain. In Paris he studied drawing and made copies of works by the Old Masters at the Louvre.
After his return from Europe in the fall of 1826, Alvan Fisher's mature career began. He opened a studio in Boston where he is said to have been the first landscapist to hang out a professional sign in Boston. He had accumulated significant wealth from his artistry and also from his business acumen. He and his brothers had invested in land in Maine and he had also accumulated stocks in textile mills, in copper mines and in railroads.
Perhaps the greatest recognition of his skill as a landscape artist came one hundred years later when First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy chose his painting, The Remnant of the Tribe, to hang in the Green Room of the White House.
Art Movement: Hudson River School
Influences: John Ritto Penniman
Traveled: England, France, Italy, Switzerland