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Philadelphia Harbor

Thomas Birch, American (born England), 1779 - 1851

Made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America

c. 1835-1850

Oil on canvas

20 x 30 1/4 inches (50.8 x 76.8 cm) Framed: 28 x 38 inches (71.1 x 96.5 cm)

Curatorial Department:
American Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of the McNeil Americana Collection, 2007

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One of the leading American marine and landscape painters of the early nineteenth century, Thomas Birch moved from England to Philadelphia in 1794. He took up marine painting during the War of 1812 and made a series of popular works chronicling the major naval battles. In addition, he produced views along the Fairmount and Jersey shores, and harbor scenes of Philadelphia and New York. This painting shows the vital commercial activity of the Delaware River, with Philadelphia's old Navy Yard in the background.