Media File
Alvan Fisher
Date: American painter, 1792–1863
Biography: Raised in Dedham, Massachusetts, Fisher spent two years studying with the Boston artist, John Ritto Penniman, who painted stage sets and ornamental designs as well as easel pictures. By 1814, Fisher was painting inexpensive portraits from a studio on School Street in Boston, and began to experiment with landscape and animal painting. He traveled throughout New England, New York, and the Southeast painting portraits and animal portraits, selling landscape pictures, and sketching the scenery for use in future compositions. In 1825 he traveled to London and Paris to further his artistic knowledge by visiting galleries and studying works by the old masters. With his brother, he hiked through Switzerland to observe the picturesque scenery and ended his tour in Italy. By 1826, he was back in Boston and painting portraits, landscapes, and narrative subjects. He exhibited regularly at the Boston Athenaeum for the rest of his career, and his close friends included the artists Thomas Doughty, Chester Harding, and Francis Alexander.