Abraham Pether Biography | Oil Paintings
7-1756 Chichester, ENG – 4-13-1812 Southampton, ENGBack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Abraham Pether was a cousin of famous engraver William Pether. As a child at the age of nine he played the organ in a Chichester church, but he decided to become an artist as his profession, he became a pupil of George Smith, and soon surpassed him.
Abraham Pether painted river and mountain scenery, with classical buildings, somewhat resembling that of Richard Wilson, but his reputation rests on his moonlight subjects, which earned for him the nickname of "Moonlight Pether”. He was partial to the combination of moonlight and firelight, as in such subjects as the Eruption of Vesuvius, An Iron Foundry by Moonlight, and others, which he painted with a fine harmony of color.
Abraham Pether was a major exhibitor from 1773 to 1791 with both the Free Society of Artists and the Incorporated Society of Artists, and at the Royal Academy from 1784 to 1811, where he exhibited sixty-one times, getting much praise for his Harvest Moon in 1795. He had an extensive knowledge of scientific subjects, and in his moonlight pictures, the astronomical conditions are always correctly painted.
Abraham Pether was also a clever inventor, constructing telescopes and microscopes for his own use, and lectured on electricity using instruments of his own making, he even invented a lead pure pencil.
Despite the fact that his paintings were popular, Abraham Pether could only supply the daily needs of his large family, and when attacked by a lingering disease of lead poisoning, which incapacitated him from work, he was reduced to great poverty, he suffered for three years before his death, leaving a widow and nine children destitute.
Abraham Pether is known in the art world as "Old" Pether, to distinguish him from his sons Sebastian Pether and Henry Pether, who also became known for their nocturnal paintings.
Art Movement: Aestheticism Art.
Artists Influencing Abraham Pether: George Smith.
Artist Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.