Alvan Fisher Biography

Alvan Fisher




Alvan T. Fisher, one of the pioneers of American landscape and genre painting, was born in Needham, Massachusetts on August 9, 1792, and began to paint before 1811. studiying with John Ritto Penniman. He was at first primarily a portrait painter but was also painting rural landscapes by 1811, and about 1815 began painting animal portraits and rural genre scenes (mostly barn and stable scenes) as well. 

Fisher was living in Boston in 1817 when he exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art and the American Academy, but during the next few years he worked in many parts of the country, including Vermont, Conn., Rhode Island, New York, and Charleston, SC. He returned seasonally to Charleston until 1823. In 1825 he visited Europe and in 1826 he settled permanently in Boston. From the 1830s-50s, he made painting trips to the White Mountains, sometimes with Thomas Doughty and other Boston artists. In his lifetime, his landscapes were widely exhibited and admired, and he was most noted for his views of Niagara Falls.  
Alvan Fisher died in Dedham, Massachusetts on February 13 of 1863.
Much of this biography is drawn from the 'Who Was Who in American Art' , the reference book on the cultural life in the United States.