John Bard

(1815-1856)

John Bard, born in 1815 in NYC, was a marine artist whose brief career flourished through a partnership with his twin brother. From 1831-1850 Bard helped complete many ship portraits. It is believed that his brother James would create an outline of the objects in composition and that John would then provide the color fill and background. "The Side-wheeler, Oliver M. Petit" (1857) is a classic example of the Bard brother's style. The careful drawing becomes slightly primitive through flatness and the use of very bright colors. After leaving the partnership in 1850, John Bard disappeared for five years. It is speculated that he went to California for the gold rush. Records show that he was temporarily admitted to the Alms House on New York City's Blackwell Island. He was readmitted a year later when he contracted strep throat. Consequently, Bard was sent to the Hospital for Incurables where he died in 1856. The cause for the spilt between brothers is still unknown.