Alfred de Breanski

On the borders o' Perth

Oil on canvas: 40(h) x 60(w) in /

101.6(h) x 152.4(w) cm

Signed lower left: Alfred de Breanski; signed and inscribed with the title on the reverse

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BE 72

 

ALFRED DE BREANSKI SNR, RBA

London 1852 – 1928 Dartford

 

On the borders o’ Perth

 

Signed lower left: Alfred de Breanski; signed and inscribed on the reverse: “On the borders o’ Perth” / Alfred de Breanski

Oil on canvas: 40 x 60 in / 101.6 x 152.4 cm

Frame size: 47.8 x 68.1 in / 121.5 x 173 cm

 

Provenance:

Mr & Mrs Graeme and Judi Hannan, Melbourne

 

Exhibited:

London, Richard Green, Nineteenth Century Paintings, 2008, no. 32, pp.86-87, illus. in colour

 

 

On the borders o’ Perth is an impressive example of Breanski’s ability to depict elements of the serene and spectacular in the dramatic and isolated Scottish landscape.  In this still and peaceful scene, the artist represents a small loch or tarn surrounded by the gathering mountains of the Highlands, its jagged perimeter dotted with eye-catching incident to draw us further in.  Sitting on a rock by a group of trees on the right foreground, a fisherman holding up his rod considers the beauty of the loch before him.  In the middle distance a herd of highland cattle wade into the water without gravely disturbing the flawlessness of its mirrored surface moving towards a promontory with picturesque ruins.  While further to the left a small boat with a red-capped sailor rows in the direction of the distant mountains.  With his masterful compositional arrangement and acute observation, Breanski skilfully leads us through the Perthshire landscape.  His portrayal of light and atmospheric colouring are equally inspired, illuminating the scene with an unearthly glow which covers the water and mountain tops with the last vestiges of sunshine.

 

ALFRED DE BREANSKI SNR, RBA

London 1852 – 1928 Dartford

 

Alfred de Breanski was a distinguished landscapist who became famous for his resplendent views of Wales, the Scottish Highlands and the Thames. Often bathed in a flood of golden light, these landscapes usually feature water and cattle or sheep on grassy banks; sometimes a solitary figure is seen in the distance.

 

Born in London, Alfred was the eldest son of Leopold Breanski; his younger brother and sister, Gustave and Julie, were also painters.  He made his début at the Royal Academy in 1872, where he exhibited until 1918.  He also exhibited at the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, and the Royal Cambrian Academy.  Amongst his patrons were Sir James Lemon, JP, and the Bishop of Petersborough, who purchased his first picture exhibited at the Royal Academy entitled “Evening: Softly falls the even light”.

 

In 1873, Breanski married Annie Roberts, a talented Welsh artist whom he met during his frequent painting trips to Wales.  They had seven children, two of which, Alfred Fontville and Arthur, were both to become painters.  For much of his life Breanski lived in Greenwich, Lewisham and Cookham, and in 1880 he became a Freeman of the City of London.

 

The work of Alfred de Breanski is represented in several museums including the Southampton Art Gallery and the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne.

 

VictorianAlfred de Breanski