Bass Rocks, East Gloucester
Henry Hammond Ahl (12/20/1869-1953) was born in East Hartford, Connecticut. He demonstrated a strong interest in art by the age of 6, and by the age of 17 he had developed great skill in oil painting. He traveled throughout Europe when he was young, and studied both at the Royal Academy in Munich and at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. He met and married Eleanor Curtis in Massachusetts, and opened a studio in Washington D.C. where he was well known for his portraits of prominent political figures. Around the turn of the century Ahl moved his studio to New York, and began painting religious themes. One painting, "In the Shadow of the Cross," was nicknamed "the miracle painting" because of its strange luminosity: it was exhibited at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904 and traveled across the country. Ahl's paintings exhibit the influences of tonalism, the Barbizon School, and Impressionism.