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Brown, George Loring

(1814-1889) Born in Boston, George Loring Brown was a portrait and landscape painter, engraver, and lithographer. From 1834 to 1840 he worked in Worcester and Shrewsbury, Massachusetts and in New York City. He painted portraits on ivory and canvas, and worked as an engraver and lithographer. From 1840 to 1859 he lived in Europe, becoming part of the expatriate colonies in Florence and Rome. His contemporaries often referred to him as “Claude Brown,” a reference to the 17th century painter Claude Lorrain who was noted for his idealized and Classically-inspired landscapes and whose work Brown emulated. Many of Brown’s paintings were set in Rome, Naples, Venice, or Florence and were popular with Americans making the Grand Tour of Europe. In America he was influenced by the Romantic painter Washington Allston. He continued to paint Italian scenes after his return to America in 1859, simultaneously painting in the White Mountains, Massachusetts, and New York. From his years in Europe he adopted the “Macchiorelli” technique, characterized by precise brushstrokes, thick paint, and the use of impressionistic patches of color to indicate contrasting lights and darks. In 1861 the Prince of Wales purchased his panoramic view of Mount Washington, now lost. Brown’s paintings are known for their atmospheric effects and poetic mood, and his American works are some of his most sought-after.