With a scene of peaceful calm and luminous atmosphere, Bricher astutely leads the viewer of this painting to a gentle day on the New England coast. The soft haze bathing the upper half of the canvas accents the massive promontory and the beautiful foreground vignette of working boats at their dock.
The rare prominence, for a Bricher painting, of the foreground composition with the well defined vessels and a lone figure sitting on the overturned dory, greatly enhance the appeal of this work. Note the bright accent of sunlight on the hulls and sails and the reflections rippling across the water. Combined with Bricher's harmonious coloration it becomes a convincing rendering of the warm sensations of summer.
Bricher, as this canvas so strongly attests, helped define the luminous school that was fundamentally devoted to the picturing of light and air. He strongly influenced American marine painting and helped produce some of its finest moments.
The character and romance of the Northeastís picturesque coast was a favored subject of A.T. Bricher. Rich in coastal atmosphere, this painting shows Bricherís interpretation of the familiar lighthouses that guard New Englandís rocky shores. The principle inspiration for this work is believed to have been Egg Rock Lighthouse in Maine. The solitary lighthouse, perched serenely on its rocky promontory, Bricher most likely drew elements from several such towers to create an ideal for his composition.
As rolling surf breaks below and small pleasure craft cruise leisurely offshore, a seagull flock circles the lighthouse, which stands silhouetted against the pleasant cloud filled sky. Bricherís feel for the essence of natural light and the ever changing qualities found along New Englandís shoreline has produced an expressive portrayal of the regionís unique character and natural beauty.
There exists a larger work created by Bricher, titled ďThe LighthouseĒ. Dated 1876, the lighthouse structure, setting and detail are identical to this work. Our petite example was probably painted as the archetype for the larger composition.
An original label of Windsor & Newton Artistsí Colourmen to Her Majesty,
38 Rathbone Place, London, is attached verso.