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Alfred De Breanski


Alfred De Breanski, Sr. was born in Greenwich to Polish parents.  The eldest sibling of three children, Alfred studied well and demonstrated that he was apt, making his debut at the highly respected Royal Academy in London in 1872 at only twenty years of age with a canvas titled Evening: Softly falls the even light.  This marked the beginning of a long painting career, whose body of work would comprise the romantic and realistic landscape painting, with influences from two pillars of English landsape painting: John Constable and J.M.W. Turner.

De Breanski's paintings depict Welsh and Scottish landscapes.  He found the textural qualities of the foliage, grasses, and indigineous rocks to be of interest.  He was an excellent painter of light, whether the silver blue on the rivers that often anchored his compositions or as seen in the golden-pink hues of sundowns that bathed mountain sides and highland peaks.

De Bréanski continued showing his paintings at the Royal Academy and the Royal Society of British Artists.  He also exhibited at the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, founded in 1882.  As its name implies, the only artwork on display here was oil painting, but the organization attracted a variety of artists at its annual exhibitions, including de Bréanski’s contemporaries, Lawrence Alma-Tadema and Walter Sickert as well as the French artists, Henri Fantin-Latour and Auguste Rodin.

His son Alfred Fontville de Breanski, born 1877, was himself a recongnised and widely collected painter.  While his paintings emanates those of his father in palette and subject matter, his landscapes were executed in a slightly less formal style.  He occasionally signed his paintings “A.F. de Breanski Jr.”

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