Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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FISHER, Alvan, artist, born in Needham, Massachusetts, 9 August 1792; died in Dedham, Massachusetts, 16 February 1863. He was intended for a mercantile career, but began the study of painting at the age of eighteen with an ornamental painter named Pennyman. In 1814 he began as a portrait painter, and soon afterward undertook barnyard scenes, winter landscapes, and cattle pieces. In 1825 he went to Paris to study. He subsequently returned to portrait painting, which he practiced for many years in Boston. One of his best works is a portrait of Spurzheim, painted after death, from recollection, in 1832.
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