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Louisiana Landscape, circa 1842-1853
Robert Brammer (1811-1853)

View Artist Bio
Oil on canvas
29 x 36 inches
Status: Private collection, Metairie, Louisiana

ROBERT BRAMMER (c. 1811-1853)

Louisiana Landscape, c. 1842-1853

Oil on canvas, 29 x 36 inches



Consuelo Vanderbilt, Duchess of Marlborough (later Mme. Jacques Balsam); Sir Arthur Hearn; by bequest to Mrs. John V. Baines; Mrs. Gillso (sister of Mrs. Baines) of Edinburgh; dealer (Gordon) in Edinburgh; M. Knoedler & Company, New York; Altmayer Limited Partnership, Mobile, Alabama.



Downriver: Currents of Style in Louisiana Paintings, 1800-1950, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1990.



Pennington, Estill Curtis, Downriver: Currents of Style in Louisiana Paintings, 1800-1950. Gretna, Louisiana: Pelican Publishing, 1991, p. 66; color ill. p. 67.


Born in Waterford, Ireland, Robert Brammer was one of a number of Europeans artists who ventured to America. Inspired by the new territory and its possibilities, he chose to remain on these shores. Knowledge of his precise whereabouts in this country is scarce, but it is known through surviving works and written records that he was in Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, and New Orleans, Louisiana. He was in Louisville around 1839 to 1841, and collaborated with Augustus A. Von Smith. Brammer appears in New Orleans in 1842 and is again listed with Smith. He remained in New Orleans and is noted in city directories until his death in 1853.


Brammer began as a portrait painter, though he began to concentrate on landscape subjects, becoming one of the earliest painters to represent the Southern regional landscape. He was known as an artist of “rare attainments” and for his “blended hues,” as noted in local journals of the time (Pennington, p. 66). His southern landscapes are typically executed in warm earth tones and depict the lush marsh and waterways with great detail and a refined technique.


Louisiana Landscape is an exceptional example of Brammer’s mature style and approach to landscape painting. The composition, along with most of his landscapes, exhibits a confluence of both European and American landscape influences: clarity and radiance to the light and atmosphere and a celebration of the natural topography, which are traits characteristic of American landscape painting, while the controlled technique, especially the careful delineation of each leaf and blade of grass, is more typical of a European aesthetic. Brammer’s landscapes are generally conceived in balanced proportion, with a body of water framed by trees on either side and also a centrally positioned grouping, as seen in Louisiana Landscape. In this scene, he pictures a slave rowing two hunters in full hunting gear as they scan the terrain for prey.


Brammer summered in Biloxi, Mississippi, where he died unexpectedly in 1853. His work received acclaim both during his lifetime and posthumously. His paintings were described in an 1853 article in the Daily Orleanian as: “the very embodiment of true poetry, glowing with all of fervid genius…. He was the poetry of art: nature had implanted in his soul an intense love of its boundless beauties, and genius guided his hand and pencil to depict them in nature’s colors, with such truth as imparted to the artist’s work a life like beauty, only achieved, where poet and artist are combined….” (Black, p. 92.) VAL




Black, Patti Carr. Art in Mississippi 1720-1980.  Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1998.


Mahe II, John A. and Roseanne McCaffrey, editors. Encyclopaedia of New Orleans Artists, 1718-1918. New Orleans: Historic New Orleans Collection, 1987.


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