New York or New England, ca. mid-19th century. Oil on canvas. Thomas Chambers (1808-1869), described as America's "first modern", is well known for highly imaginative paintings characterized by areas of bright, flat color, large generalized forms, and sharp contrasts between light and dark areas, with playful, romantic exaggerations that reflected the "fancy" taste of his prosperous patrons in New York and New England. "The Bridge" is a tranquil, yet boldly colored painting, with color palette typical of Chambers' work, following a horse and rider trotting over a fanciful bridge spanning a calm river, the peacefulness of the scene accentuated by wading cattle and drifting sail boats. The composition leads the eye under the bridge to wonder what is unseen up the river. This painting is in excellent condition. Fine condition. Lined. The fine gilded frame appears to be the original, as is the stretcher. Frame size about 28 inches wide x 22 tall. A very hard to read saved label from the back of the canvas warrants further research. Museums with paintings by Chambers include: Addison Gallery of American Art, American Folk Art Museum, Dallas Museum of Art, Everson Museum of Art, Fenimore Art Museum, Flint Institute of Arts, Indiana University Art Museum, Mead Art Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, National Gallery of Art, New-York Historical Society, Rhode Island School of Design, Saint Louis Art Museum, Shelburne Museum, Smith College Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, and the Wadsworth Atheneum. See "Thomas Chambers: American Marine and Landscape Painter, 1808-1869", Foster, for extensive reference.
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