William Bradford (April 30, 1823– April 25, 1892) was an American romanticist painter, photographer and explorer, originally from Fairhaven, Massachusetts, near New Bedford.
He is known for his paintings of ships and Arctic seascapes. He went on several Arctic expeditions with Dr. Isaac Israel Hayes, and was the first American painter to portray the frozen regions of the north. In London in 1873, he published an account of his trips to the north, entitled The Arctic regions, illustrated with photographs taken on an art expedition to Greenland; with descriptive narrative by the artist.
He was a member of the Hudson River School. He adopted their techniques and became highly interested in the way light touches water and how it affects the appearance of water surfaces and the general atmospherics of a painting. He compositionally balanced many of his paintings by creating a counter-subject and by placing darker colors around the edges, framing and counteracting the center's better-lit subject.