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Alfred Thompson Bricher (1837 - 1908)

Lot 73: ALFRED THOMPSON BRICHER American (1837-1908)


October 23, 2003
Milford, CT, US

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oil on canvas, signed lower left and dated 1872. Signed, titled


27 x 50


Private collection, Orange, Connecticut.


Morning at Narragansett

Morning at Narragansett is a major rediscovery in A. T. Bricher's oeuvre, almost certainly identical to the painting of the same title that was exhibited in 1876 at both the Chicago Interstate Exposition and the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition.

Bricher first summered on Rhode Island s Narragansett Bay in 1871, and each year thereafter until 1878 returned regularly to that subject. Although he had painted a number of seascapes earlier in his career, his Narragansett paintings represent his first sustained exploration of New England s coast. They were inspired perhaps by his growing admiration for the work of John F. Kensett, a regular visitor to the Newport area, but they also reflect his knowledge of the crystalline illumination found in the early shorescapes of his friend, Martin Johnson Heade, with whom he had shared a Boston studio building in the early 1860s.

Morning at Narragansett s elongated proportions, precise drawing and glowing atmospheric light mark it as a classic of American Luminism. Its composition is very closely related to that of Sunrise at Narragansett Pier, Rhode Island, a smaller painting dated 1873 (private collection; illustrated in Jeffrey R. Brown, Alfred Thompson Bricher, 1837-1908 (1973) Fig. 33, p. 57), with the important difference that Morning at Narragansett, with its translucent waters and rosy hues, is a more resolved and radiant work of art. Bruce W. Chambers, Ph. D.

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October 2003

October 23, 2003, 12:00 AM EST

Milford, CT, US