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Lot 97: Alfred Brennan (1853-1921) etching
January 25, 2017
Wells, ME, USA
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Description: Brennan, Alfred Laurens 'Alfred Brennan' (Louisville, Kentucky, 1853 - Brooklyn, New York, 1921). A nineteenth century American painter, etcher and illustrator. Original etching, title is Divination in Tea Leaves, plate size approx. 8-1/4 x 5-1/2 in. plus margins. In the margins there is slight sun toning. This is not visible in the image.Alfred Laurens Brennan first studied art at the University of Cincinnati School of Design. He moved to Philadelphia for a period of two years and worked with Frank Duveneck. Alfred Brennan then settled in New York in 1879 and began a very successful career as an illustrator for such national publications as The Century, Life, and St. Nicholas. He also illustrated a number of children's books.???????_?_?_?_As both an artist and illustrator Alfred Brennan was held in the highest regard for his art in black and white. Both his etchings and pen and ink drawings are brilliantly designed. One writer states that Alfred Laurens Brennan created ""his own technical virtuosity and an unconventional point of view which makes his work always arresting and intriguing."" ""American Art Review"": Inspired by the European etched art of James McNeill Whistler, Charles Meryon, Sir Francis Seymour Haden and others, a large number of American artists became seriously interested in the art of etching by 1875. A primary catalyst to the etching revival in America was the journal, American Art Review (1879-1881). Founded and edited by Sylvester Rosa Koehler it commissioned American artists for original etchings. Contributing etchers included such famous artists as Thomas and Peter Moran, Otto Bacher, J. M. Falconer, F. S. Church, Robert Swain Gifford, Henry Farrer, Samuel Coleman, Alfred Laurens Brennan and James D. Smillie.???????_?_?_?_Due mostly to its lavish production costs the journal lasted only slightly over two years. The finely printed etchings it produced, however, served as a cornerstone for the many great American etchings of the early twentieth century. Divination in Tea Leaves was commissioned by the American Art Review in 1879.Reference:* Walt Reed, The Illustrator in America, 1860-2000, New York, The Society of Illustrators, 2003, p. 70.
Condition Report: In the margins there is slight sun toning. This is not visible in the image.