Artist Spotlight: Charles DeWolf Brownell

April is finally here and we are celebrating Earth Month! This month we want to highlight the artists who showcase all the different elements of our beautiful planet in unique and creative ways. We will start this month highlighting an artist whose works show amazing use of color and movement in the sky. May I introduce you to, Charles DeWolf Brownlee.

Born in Providence, Rhode Island Brownlee’s family relocated to Hartford, Connecticut at a young age. He began his career initially in law, being admitted to the Connecticut bar, but always harbored a secret talent for painting. After serving as a barrister for 10 years, Brownlee suffered a congestive attack of the lungs and sought out a less stressful career in painting. He trained locally, travelling through the Connecticut Valley, then moved to New York where his career accelerated rapidly. Brownlee exhibited multiple times at the National Academy of Design, as well as the Brooklyn Art Association. His most notable landscape works are those of Cuba. He spent several winters in Cuba living a transient lifestyle, staying for short periods of time at each of the several sugar plantations that his mother’s family owned. 

Brownlee became an artist in the 19th-century that was most closely associated with Cuba, given the popularity of his Cuban landscapes. His favorite area of the island was around Matanzas, located about 30 miles east of Havana. This was a part of the island known for its sugar plantations, and inspired Brownlee with its vast fields and clear skies. 

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