Albert Fitch Bellows

1829 - 1883

American landscape painter of the Hudson River School

Albert Fitch Bellows Biography

    Albert Fitch Bellows was an american landscape painter of the Hudson River School, born at Milford, Massachusetts.
     Bellows first studied architecture and opened his own architectural firm in 1849, but quickly turned to painting. From 1850 to 1856 Bellows taught at the New England School of Design in Boston. Bellows resigned his post to travel and study abroad, and spent time in Paris and at the Royal Academy at Antwerp as well as in England. Bellows exhibited his first paintings at the National Academy of Design in 1857, becoming a full member in 1861, and he settled in New York City in 1858 on his return to America.
     Bellows spent most of his remaining career in New York, though he briefly moved to Boston. Bellows visited Europe again in 1867. In New York he kept a studio in the same building as many of the notable Hudson River School artists of the time. His landscape oil paintings of the 1860s are fully in the late Hudson River School tradition, though Bellows depicted people more prominently in his landscape paintings than most other artists. Bellows excelled at figurative scene paintings.
     Bellows also differed from most Hudson River School artists in that he became skilled at watercolor, and authored a respected book on the subject titled "Water-Color Painting: Some Facts and Authorities in Relation to Its Durability". He eventually maintained two studios, one for oil paintings and one for watercolor. Bellows was a member of the American Watercolor Society, and an honorary member of the Royal Belgian Society of Water-Colorists.
     Bellows also mastered etching?along with Samuel Colman he was possibly the only other Hudson River School artist to do so?and became a member of the New York Etching Club, the Philadelphia Society of Etchers and the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers in London, England, an esteemed professional organization whose members included James McNeil Whistler and Francis Seymour Haden.
     Bellows died in Auburndale, Massachusetts, on the 24th of November 1883.