Benjamin Russell Photo

Benjamin Russell

Born: Oct 16, 1804

Death: Mar 3, 1885

Birthplace: New Bedford

Nationality: United States

Benjamin Russell

Date of Birth : Oct 16, 1804
Date of Death : Mar 3, 1885
Birth Place : New Bedford

Benjamin Russell was an American artist best known for his accurate watercolors of whaling ships working in New England. Born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, to a wealthy family, Russell started drawing and painting in his late 30s, after a few years spent working as a cooper aboard a whaling ship. Russell's depiction of perspective and depth are stiff and flat, and his images "were appreciated more for their accurate representation than their artistic value." However, most of his work is perfectly to scale, resembling control drawings, and Russell watercolors are some of the better views of the mid-19th-century American whaling industry, until photography became available in the 1850s. Russell began making lithographs in 1848, and began teaching art in Rhode Island, after the American Civil War ended in 1865. He attended the University of Virginia, where he was a member of the Alpha chapter of the Chi Phi fraternity.

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