George Loring Brown who was born in Boston decided as a boy that he would become a painter, and apprenticed himself to an engraver in preparation for a painter's life. He did in fact gain enough skill to earn money illustrating children's books; and then, when he was not quite twenty and had done some painting, he sold a landscape to a merchant who not only paid for the work but added a gift that made it possible for the young artist to travel to Europe. Brown struggled in Antwerp and Paris, waiting for money from sales of his paintings in Boston (which eventually arrived) and copying the great masters in the Louvre. He returned to Boston after two years in Europe, but went back to the continent in 1839 and stayed twenty years. He became one of the most prominent landscape artists of his day.