Peter Quidley was born on Boston’s Beacon Hill in 1945. Though he studied drawing throughout his college years, Quidley is largely a self-taught painter. Working as a professional artist for more than four decades, his goal has been to create paintings of beauty and enduring quality. Over the course of his career, Quidley gravitated toward a subtle narrative form, depicting peaceful and serene scenes, redolent of mystery, mischief, and simple innocence. All of his paintings—land- or seascapes, still lifes, or figurative pieces—convey a palpable emotional significance.
Quidley’s characteristic style involves stripping his paintings of subject matter, iconography or clothing styles that place his scenes in a particular era; in so doing, the artist imbues his paintings with a sense of timelessness. He demonstrates a deep respect for the classical painting tradition through his practices of painting on panel, grinding his own pigments and choosing gold leaf water gilded frames. In a uniquely personal gesture, he often affixes to the back of a finished piece the brushes used to create the painting. According to one critic, “The first thing you notice about Peter Quidley’s oil paintings is the shimmering, lustrous character of the light which seems to radiate from the inside out, as if each picture is infused with its own individual incandescence.”
Quidley’s work has been exhibited in numerous group exhibitions nationwide and internationally, and in solo shows across Massachusetts, including the Cape Museum of Fine Art, the Addison Gallery, and the Cahoon Museum of American Art. He holds the distinction of Copley Master, and is a member of numerous artistic societies. The artist is a renowned portraitist and does select work on commission. His works are in private collections around the world.