Oil on canvas, 29.5 x 47.5 inches / Signed lower left
Bromley was born in Eureka, Wisconsin, the son of an engraver and whose grandfather was an associate at the British Royal Academy. The family later moved to Chicago, Illinois, where as a student at the Chicago High School, he first exhibited his work in 1873 at the Vienna International Exposition. It was there that Bromley won first prize for drawing, a not inconsiderable accomplishment for the fourteen year old student. After graduating from high school, Bromley studied with noted landscape painter, Henry Elkins. In 1880, Bromley, along with Elkins and other Chicago artists founded the Vincennes Gallery of Art. Bromley, as typical with artists of that period, left for Europe in 1880 to further his art education. In Paris, he studied under French classicist painter, Jean-Louis Meissoner and Edouard Yon. Bromley was officially recognized as a skilled artist when in 1882 one of his paintings was accepted at the annual Paris Salon. He was one of the youngest American artists to receive that honor. Bromley returned to Chicago in 1883 where he maintained a studio and taught art classes. He made a second trip to France in the latter part of the 1880s. Perhaps motivated by his mentor, Elkins, who traveled to the American West for his inspiration, Bromley traveled widely. The Michigan Central Railroad commissioned him to do paintings along their route, which included Niagara Falls. It was for the railroad that he executed his largest painting, measuring 6 by 10 feet. This exquisite painting of Niagara Falls, not only showcases Bromley’s considerable skill as an artist, but the power and majesty of one America’s geologic wonders. It is probable that this painting is one of the works commissioned by the Michigan Central Railroad. Bromley won a gold medal at the 1885 New Orleans World’s Industrial and Cotton Exposition. Young Bromley’s untimely death in 1890 deprived the art world of a talented landscapist whose exquisitely executed works easily rival those of the Hudson River School artists.
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