Alvan Fisher


Alvan Fisher


Interior of a Barn
Oil on Canvas
29 3/8 x 23 1/4 inches

Signed Lower Right

Inventory ID: DH102

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Born in Dedham, Massachusetts, Alvan Fisher was a pioneer in American landscape, genre, and animal painting.  He was one of the earliest Americans to rebel against painting only portraits, and as a result, became a pioneer of genre painting and landscape painting.  However, his real love was the depiction of animals, and he was the first American artist to paint race horses..

Fisher was a student in Boston of John Ritto Penniman, ornamental painter.  He first went to Europe in 1825, and then set up his studio in Boston where prominent artists such as Washington Allston, Chester Harding and Asher Durand became his good friends.

His records show that he sold nearly 1000 paintings between 1826 and 1863, indicative of his astuteness as a businessman.  He traveled throughout the United States, recording observations in his notebooks.  He did a number of Niagara Falls views, with diminished figures against the overwhelming natural scenery, a formula that met expectations of that time relative to dramatic landscape.  In fact, his work foreshadowed the Hudson River School of painters.  He also did rural scenes and was the first American to paint race horses.

He exhibited at the National Academy and the Pennsylvania Academy.