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William Parsons Winchester Dana (1833–1927) was an American artist who settled in France.[1]


William Parsons Dana was born in Boston, Massachusetts on February 18, 1833.[2]

Dana was attracted to a sailor's life, and made several voyages, then decided to study art, went to Paris in 1852, became a pupil of Picot and Le Poitevin and a student in the School of arts, and spent his summers sketching in Normandy and Brittany.[2]Some of his earliest sketches are of Manchester, MA.

He returned to the United States in 1862, was chosen a full member of the National Academy of Design in 1863, painted in New York city and Newport, and afterwards established his studio in Paris, France.[2]

Known as the American Impressionist, her lived at Rue St Honore, Paris, had a studio in the city, and often visited Normandy. One of his many paintings of included Le Havre and The Rock at Etretat.

In 1878, he moved to London with his daughter, Marion for her prospective marriage. Dana continued to paint in London, notably the famous view across the Thames to the Palace of Westminster, and Waterloo Bridge, as well as several of the pea-soup fog shrouding the river. His generic paintings included many of donkeys, on beaches, and so on, and others of animals and children. But Dana was probably best known for his seascapes, especially for a self-portrait depicting him wearing sou-wester oilskins.

Dana died in London in 1927, a very rich man with a large family, and a British subject. His daughter died within months of Dana, also in 1927, his wife having long predeceased him.


His first pictures were marine views, but subsequently he treated genre subjects with success, and was happy in painting children, horses, and dogs. Some of his principal works are:[2]

Chase of the Frigate Constitution
Waiting for the Fishing-Boat
Low Tide at Yport
French Peasant-Girl
Maternal Care
Emby's Admirals
Land of Nod
English Greyhound
Gathering Seaweed


In 1855 Dana married Anna Bronson Murray, daughter of Colonel James Boyles Murray of New York and Maria Bronson, daughter of the New York banker, Isaac Bronson.[1]

Dearinger 2004, p. 144.

Wilson & Fiske 1900.

Dearinger, David Bernard, ed. (2004), Paintings and Sculpture in the Collection of the National Academy of Design: 1826-1925 (illustrated ed.), Hudson Hills, p. 144, ISBN 9781555950293
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1900). "Dana, Stephen Winchester". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton.
"Brittany Beach"c 1865-70 by William Parsons Winchester Dana, A painting at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, MABI 3932

Artist, USA


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