Alvan Fisher was one of the first American landscape painters, whose work helped to initiate the Hudson River School. Born in Dedham, Massachusetts, Fisher trained under John Pettiman, a decorative painter, and began creating portraits, animal paintings, and genre scenes. He extended his vision to landscapes in 1815, inspired by the British painters of the picturesque. Fisher located the same poetic charm in America’s virgin terrain, laying the groundwork for a native tradition.
As the American landscape movement developed, Fisher was positioned alongside Thomas Cole and Thomas Doughty as an artistic pioneer. His paintings were featured at all of the major exhibition venues of the time: the National Academy of Design, the Boston Athenaeum, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Artists Fund Society, and the Corcoran Gallery Biennials. His work is now in the White House, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Gallery of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.