Lowestoft Beach, Suffolk, John Salmon

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Alfred de Breanski (1877-1957)

He was a distinguished landscape painter who became famous for his resplendent views of the Welsh and Scottish Highlands; he also painted many views of 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 the distance.

He was born in London, Alfred was the eldest son of Leopold Bréanski; his younger brother and sister, Gustave and Julie, were also painters. He made his debut at the Royal Academy in 1872 and he continued to exhibit there until 1918. He also exhibited at the Royal Institute of Oil Painters and the Royal Cambrian Academy. His many patrons included Sir James Lemon and the Bishop of Peterborough, who purchased the first picture that he exhibited at the Royal Academy “Evening: Softly falls the even light”.

In 1873, Bréanski 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 Bréanski lived in Greenwich, Lewisham and Cookham and in 1880 he became a Freeman of the City of London.

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