"The Old Bridge" by Anthony Thieme
(Dutch-American, 1888 - 1954
Oil on board, 12 x 16 inches (board), 19 x 23 inches (frame), signed lower left, titled verso, period 22k gold leaf hand-carved frame
Anthony Thieme was born in Rotterdam, Holland where his parents sent him to naval school. The military training did not take with the young artist and he went on to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rotterdam; the Royal Academy at The Hague; as an apprentice artist in Dusseldorf under George Hoecker, Germany's foremost stage designer; and at the School of Fine Arts in Turn. He worked as a stage designer in Europe, England and South America before coming to the United States in 1917. He settled in Boston in 1919, where he painted and designed stage sets for the Copley Theatre, and illustrated books. In 1927 he established a studio at Cape Ann in Rockport, Massachusetts, where he taught summer painting classes; establishing the Thieme School of Art in 1929. He is said to have painted the red lobster shack, Motif #1, more times that any other artist and his work from this period is some of the most coveted. As an Impressionist painter, he was well known for his serene seascapes and shore scenes. He was greatly influenced by the Dutch seascape tradition, and was very interested in the effects of light on water. In 1946, Thieme traveled to Charleston, South Carolina, where he was inspired by the intense light and color of the Southern landscape. While there, he painted scenes of the elaborate wrought iron and flower blossoms he saw along the streets of the city. That same year his studio burned, destroying most of his un-sold work. He continued to travel to St. Augustine, Nassau, Guatemala, the Riviera and Spain until his death in 1954. Paintings by Thieme are found in many important public and private collections of American art, including collections of Southern art.