Alfred Thompson Bricher was an American landscape painter often associated with the Hudson River School and White Mountain art, two of the most prominent American art movements in the 19th century. These movements were less fashionable, as Modern Art became the leading artistic movement. Bricher was one of the last famed painters from the Hudson River School.
Alfred Thompson Bricher was born in April 1837, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The artist grew up in Newburyport, Massachusetts, and by 14 years old he was already working in Boston, where he would later open his own business.
When Bricher was not working, he studied art at the Lowell Institute alongside distinguished artists, such as William Morris Hunt, and Albert Bierstadt, among others. He developed exceptional skills in executing landscape studies from nature, and in 1858 he would devote himself to art professionally. Bricher opened his studio in Boston and achieved moderate success, before moving to New York City.
In 1868, the same years he moved to New York City, Bricher would already exhibit a painting at the National Academy of Design, Mill-Stream at Newburyport. He soon began to work predominantly in watercolor, in detriment of using oil; and in 1873 Bricher was chosen as an American Watercolor Society member. Around this time, his production was mostly maritime-themed paintings, using watercolor to execute lush seascapes and coastal scenery. He would often spend his summers in Grand Manan, where he completed several notable artworks, such as Morning at Grand Manan. Bricher was elected as an Associate Member of the National Academy of Design in 1879.
Bricher is considered one of the last painters of the famous Hudson River School. Since his style included mostly Luminist landscapes and Modern Art became the most important artistic movement around the same period. Hence, at the end of his life, the painter's style became less and less fashionable, and so did his fame.
In the 1890s, Bricher bought a house in Staten Island, where he could see the Raritan Bay and the Atlantic Ocean since he was a keen admirer of maritime life. There he would paint and live until his death at age 71.
Bricher’s recognition would rise once again in the 1980s, as he became considered one of the greatest maritime painters of the 19th-century.