Schooner Close-Hauled (ca. 1883)
Alfred Thompson Bricher
Oil on canvas
"Self-taught as an artist, Alfred Thompson Bricher emerged as one of the most accomplished and popular marine painters of the late 19th century. The Massachusetts native's marine imagery found a responsive market, partly in growing numbers of world-weary urbanites escaping to coastal environs for therapeutic relaxation. Bricher's captivating Schooner Close-Hauled presents a group of vessels off a strip of unidentified coastline. Muscular waves and thick clouds create a dramatic stage for their graceful performance. Balanced and orderly, the composition lends a degree of permanence to a subject that is otherwise shifting and transitory. The setting likely refers to the southeastern shore of Long Island, where Bricher, along with countless other vacationers, spent time in the early 1880s."