THOMAS BIRCH (1779–1851)
The Sleigh Ride, 1838
Oil on canvas, 18 x 27 in.
Signed and dated (at lower right): Tho. Birch 1838
EXHIBITED: Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York, 1998, The American Vasari: William Dunlap and his World, p. 23 no. 4 illus. in color
EX COLL.: private collection, 1997 until the present
Although Birch is well known for his Philadelphia harbor scenes along the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, he painted a number of winter scenes, such as The Sleigh Ride, a charming view of a mid-winter outing. As in the nautical works, Birch focuses on convincingly conveying topographical details while also displaying an interest in atmospheric effects. It is the beguiling subject matter that makes The Sleigh Ride such a delightful example of early American landscape/genre painting.