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MFA Images: Nautical

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  • River Landscape with a Ferry and a Church

    about 1656
    Jan Josephsz. van Goyen (Dutch, 1596–1656)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right, on side of boat: VG / 165[6?]

    Provenance

    1907, Edward Balfour, Esq. (b. 1849 - d. 1927), Balbirnie, Fife, Scotland; May 31, 1907, Balfour sale, Christie, Manson and Woods, London, lot 139, to Gooden and Fox, London, for £819; 1907, sold by Gooden and Fox to the MFA for $16,650 [see note 1]. (Accession Date: August 8, 1907) NOTES: [1] MFA accession numbers 07.499 - 07.502 were acquired together for $16,650.

    Credit Line

    Julia Bradford Huntington James Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    47.3 x 66.7 cm (18 5/8 x 26 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    07.502

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • View across the River Y toward Amsterdam

    about 1660
    Ludolf Bakhuizen (Dutch, 1631–1708)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: L B [...] K [...]

    Provenance

    1824, Abraham Hume (b. 1749 - d. 1838), 2nd Bart., London and Wormley Bury, Hertford, England [see note 1]; by descent to his daughter, Amelia Sophia Hume (b. 1788 - d. 1814), Belton, Lincolnshire; to her daughter, Lady Sophia Frances Cust (b. 1811 - d. 1882); to her son, Brownlow Richard Christopher Tower (b. 1851 - d. 1932), Hawthorne House, Shropshire [see note 2]; to his son, Geoffrey Egerton Tower (b. 1891 - d. 1949), Hawthorne House [see note 3]; May 18, 1949, G. E. Tower sale, Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London, lot 154, to Horace Buttery, London; 1949, sold by Buttery to the MFA for $701. (Accession Date: December 8, 1949) NOTES: [1] He lent this to the British Institution in 1824, cat. no. 92, as "Sea Piece, with a distant View of Amsterdam." [2] A handwritten label on the reverse of the painting's stretcher reads: "This picture from the collection of Sir Abraham Hume Bt. was left me by my dear mother after her death, 21st December 1882 / Brownlow Tower." [3] A handwritten label on the reverse of the painting's stretcher reads "This picture was left me by my father, Brownlow Richard Christopher Tower, ob. May 18th 1932 / Geoffrey Edgerton Tower / 13.IV.40."

    Credit Line

    Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    42.2 x 49.5 cm (16 5/8 x 19 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    49.1708

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • View of Rotterdam

    Dutch (Rotterdam)
    about 1700–30

    Description

    A tile painting, composed of 33 Delftware tiles (including replacements) forming a view of port of Rotterdam. Set in 18th-century (?) mahogany frame, with gilded inscription on bottom border.

    Signed

    Signed with monogram in lower right corner: "C : BM"

    Provenance

    Henry Freudmann (b. 1886 - d. 1952) and Nora Freudmann (b. 1888 - d. 1948), Antwerp and New York [see note 1]; by descent from the Freudmanns to their daughter, Denise Joselson, Rye, NY; 2005, gift of Denise and Morton Joselson to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 25, 2006) NOTES: [1] Mrs. Joselson's parents, Henry and Nora Freudmann, acquired six pieces of Dutch Delftware (MFA accession nos. 2005.1057 - 2005.1060) in Belgium and the U.S.; some pieces may also have been inherited from Mrs. Freudmann's parents.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Denise and Morton Joselson

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 50.8 x 88.9 cm (20 x 35 in.) Framed: 71.4 x 94.8 x 3.2 cm (28 1/8 x 37 5/16 x 1 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    2005.1057

    Medium or Technique

    Tile; tin-glazed earthenware with underglaze blue decoration, wood frame

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Ceramics, Pottery

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  • Fort on a River

    Jan Josephsz. van Goyen (Dutch, 1596–1656)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left, on side of boat: VG 1644

    Provenance

    Count André Mniszech (b. 1823 - d. 1905), Paris [see note 1]. About 1920, Wildenstein, Paris. 1925, D. Hermsen, The Hague. By 1929 until at least 1931, P. de Boer, Amsterdam [see note 2]. Asscher and Welker, London; between about 1931 and 1937, sold by Asscher and Welker to Georg Schicht (b. 1884 - d. 1961), London [see note 3]. 1937, brought to the United States. 1946, acquired by John Nicholson Gallery, New York (stock no. 1923); 1947, sold by Nicholson to the MFA for $4500. (Accession Date: March 13, 1947) NOTES: [1] Provenance information (to 1925) is taken from Hans-Ulrich Beck, Jan van Goyen, 1596-1656 (Amsterdam, 1973), p. 341, cat. no. 757. Mniszech was a Polish portraitist who worked in Paris. [2] The painting was featured in a P. de Boer advertisement published in 1929 (see, for example, Pantheon, November 1929) and was exhibited at the gallery in 1930 and 1931. [3] According to correspondence from John P. Nicholson to W. G. Constable of the MFA (March 17, 1947).

    Credit Line

    Francis Welch Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    42.5 x 75.5 cm (16 3/4 x 29 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    47.235

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Ships in Rotterdam Harbor

    17th century
    Ludolph Backhuyzen (Dutch, 1631–1708 Dutch)

    Description

    Inscription

    Monogrammed on barrel at lower left: L. B.

    Provenance

    R. M. Light and Co., Boston and New York, mid-1960s; Florence S. Gerstein (1926-2004, Boston); her bequest to MFA

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Florence S. Gerstein

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 16.5 x 23.2 cm (6 1/2 x 9 1/8 in.) Mount: 27.2 x 34.7 cm (10 11/16 x 13 11/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    2005.236

    Medium or Technique

    Pen and brown ink, and brush with gray and brown wash, over graphite

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Drawings

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  • Yacht of the Princes of Orange and Other Ships

    Jan Abrahamsz. Beerstraten (Dutch, 1622–1666)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: J Beerstraaten

    Provenance

    1905, Ehrich Galleries, New York; March 24, 1905, Ehrich sale, Fifth Avenue Art Galleries, New York, lot 37, withdrawn. By 1913, Arthur Brewster Emmons (b. 1850 - d. 1922), Newport, RI and New York; 1917, gift of Arthur Brewster Emmons to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 5, 1917)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Arthur Brewster Emmons

    Details

    Dimensions

    75.9 x 107 cm (29 7/8 x 42 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1421

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Rough Sea

    about 1670
    Jacob Isaacksz. van Ruisdael (Dutch, 1628 or 1629–1682)

    Description

    The sea was an integral part of Dutch life and landscape; a powerful navy and ships that traded as far as Asia and the Americas made this small nation one of the wealthiest in Europe. The exhilarating expanse of space in Ruisdael’s view of the estuary of the river Ij, near Amsterdam, is dominated by a towering sky. Clouds, white-capped waves, and the almost palpable presence of the wind are captured with compelling realism and an eloquent appreciation of the grandeur of nature. This is one of the finest of the rare seascapes by Ruisdael, widely considered the greatest Dutch landscape painter of the seventeenth century.

    Inscription

    Lower left: Ruisdael

    Provenance

    Acquired in Holstein, Germany by Georg Ernst Harzen (b. 1790 - d. 1863), Hamburg. Richard Foster (d. 1830), Clewer Park, Berkshire, England; by descent to Edmund Foster (d. 1863), Clewer Park; by descent to Edmund Benson Foster (b. about 1850), Clewer Park; July 13, 1895, Richard Foster sale, Christie, Manson, and Woods, London, lot 70, to Colnaghi. Until 1906, Alfred Beit (b. 1853 - d. 1906), London; 1906, by inheritance to his brother, Sir Otto John Beit (b. 1865 - d. 1930), London [see note 1]; 1930, probably by inheritance to his widow or his son, Sir Alfred Lane Beit (b. 1903 - d. 1994), London [see note 2]. 1956, H. J. Spiller, London; July 30, 1956, sold by Spiller to Duits, London (stock no. 604) [see note 3]; 1956, sold by Duits to Rudolf J. Heinemann (dealer, b. 1902 - d. 1975), New York [see note 4]; 1957, sold by Heinemann to the MFA for $39,000. (Accession Date: January 10, 1957) NOTES: [1] The painting was in his possession until at least 1929, when he lent it to the Exhibition of Dutch Art, 1450-1900 (London: Royal Academy of Art, 1929), cat. no. 100. [2] Upon Otto Beit's death in 1930, his collection was divided between his widow and his son. See Adrian Le Harivel et al., "The Beit Collection" (Dublin: National Gallery of Ireland, 1988). [3] According to information on file at the Getty Research Institute (Duits Records, Accession No. 860290, boxes 16 and 37), Duits acquired a half-share in the painting at this time. [4] Agnew's, London, purchased a half-share in the painting from Heinemann in October, 1956 and sold it back to him in February, 1957.

    Credit Line

    William Francis Warden Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    107.0 x 125.8 cm (42 1/8 x 49 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    57.4

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Art of the Netherlands in the 17th Century Gallery (Gallery 242)

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Backstaff

    American
    1765
    Artist Clark Elliott (1729–1793)

    Object Place: New London, Connecticut

    Description

    Inscribed: “Made by C. Elliott in New London/ For Mr. [—-?] 1765” and “CE/ 346/ 1765”. Rosewood, boxwood, walnut, ivory. Backstaff with rosewood limbs and braces decorated with incised lines, punched stars, and applied bosses, with inlaid ivory plate with maker’s name, date, and owner’s name (effaced) on long limb; small 60 degree arc and large 30 degree arc of boxwood and engraved with graduated scales; maker’s initials, date, and serial number engraved on scrolled end of 30 degree arc, with punched stars; walnut horizon vane attached to long limb; other vanes missing.

    Credit Line

    Gift of The Seminarians

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 59.1 x 35.6 x 12.7 cm (23 1/4 x 14 x 5 in.)

    Accession Number

    1993.533

    Medium or Technique

    Rosewood, boxwood, walnut, ivory

    On View

    George Putnam Model Ship Gallery (Gallery LG28)

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Instruments

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  • East Indiaman "Anno Valkeniss 1717"

    1717

    Object Place: The Netherlands

    Description

    During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, ships called East Indiamen-the finest and largest merchant ships of the time-were used for European trade to Asia. Richly ornamented and gilded, they evoked much national and company pride. East Indiamen were armed like war vessels for protection from attacks by pirate ships. The maiden voyage of “Valkenisse,” a 60-gun Dutch East Indiaman, began in 1717, and she was wrecked in 1740. Measuring about 160 feet in length and about 40 feet in breadth, she was the largest of the Dutch East Indiamen.

    In the 1990s, Rob Napier of Newburyport, Massachusetts, meticulously researched, conserved, and rigged “Valkenisse,” reconditioning this important model to its present appearance for the first time in many years.

    Provenance

    Clarkson A. Collins, Jr. by 1923; to J. Templeman Coolidge about November 1928, (lent by J. Templeman Coolidge to the MFA, February 27, 1929), to the MFA, July 1932, gift.

    Credit Line

    Gift of John Templeman Coolidge

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 48.3 x 35.6 x 172.7 cm (19 x 14 x 68 in.) Container: 235 x 111.8 x 226.1 cm (92 1/2 x 44 x 89 in.) Overall (Fully rigged): 228.6 x 96.5 x 203.2 cm (90 x 38 x 80 in.)

    Accession Number

    32.183

    Medium or Technique

    Wood

    On View

    George Putnam Model Ship Gallery (Gallery LG28)

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Models

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  • North River N. Y. Schooner "Wave"

    American
    About 1860

    Description

    Built up and to scale. Painted green and black. Linen sails. Name near stern.

    Provenance

    Lent by J. Templeman Coolidge, 12/01/1927.

    Credit Line

    Gift of John Templeman Coolidge

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall (H x W x L): 162.6 x 61 x 190.5 cm (64 x 24 x 75 in.)

    Accession Number

    32.135

    On View

    George Putnam Model Ship Gallery (Gallery LG28)

    Collections

    Americas

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    Models

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  • 100-gun ship of the line

    About 1715–19

    Object Place: possibly Portsmouth, England

    Description

    Provenance

    lent by Frederick C. Fletcher February 26, 1929; given in 1935.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Frederick C. Fletcher

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall (H x W x L): 124.5 x 55.9 x 121.9 cm (49 x 22 x 48 in.)

    Accession Number

    35.41

    Medium or Technique

    Plank on frame; boxwood, pearwood, linen, brass, steel, mica Base: laburnum veneer, ebony Scale: about 3/16 in. = 1 ft.

    On View

    George Putnam Model Ship Gallery (Gallery LG28)

    Collections

    Americas

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    Models

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  • Clipper ship "Flying Cloud"

    1915
    H. E. Boucher

    Description

    Provenance

    Lent by Frederick C. Fletcher February 26, 1929

    Credit Line

    Gift of Frederick C. Fletcher

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall (H x W x L): 96.5 x 61 x 157.5 cm (38 x 24 x 62 in.)

    Accession Number

    35.42

    Medium or Technique

    Wood

    On View

    George Putnam Model Ship Gallery (Gallery LG28)

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Models

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  • Ships in a Storm

    Jacob Adriaensz. Bellevois (Dutch, 1621–1676)

    Description

    Provenance

    Until 1907, Edward Balfour, Esq. (b. 1849 - d. 1927), Balbirnie, Fife, Scotland; May 31, 1907, Balfour sale, Christie, Manson and Woods, London, lot 136 [see note 1] to Gooden and Fox, London; 1907, sold by Gooden and Fox to the MFA for $16,650 [see note 2]. (Accession Date: August 8, 1907) NOTES: [1] Sold as a work by Ludolf Backhuysen. [2] MFA accession numbers 07.499 - 07.502 were acquired together for this amount.

    Credit Line

    Julia Bradford Huntington James Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    128 x 176.8 cm (50 3/8 x 69 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    07.499

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Storm at Sea

    1840
    Robert Salmon (English, 1775–1845 or after (active in the United States 1828–42) English)

    Description

    The low horizon and contrasting lights and darks indicate Salmon’s longstanding awareness of such seventeenth-century Dutch painters as Willem van de Velde and Jacob van Ruisdael. The strong atmospheric effects in this particular painting also may show the influence of J. M. W. Turner’s use of color and light.

    Inscription

    Reverse: No 44/Painted by R. Salmon/1840

    Provenance

    The artist; Mrs. James A. Sullivan, Boston, 1944; to Maxim Karolik, Newport, R.I., 1944; to MFA, 1948, gift of Martha C. (Mrs. Maxim) Karolik.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Martha C. Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815-1865

    Details

    Dimensions

    41.91 x 61.59 cm (16 1/2 x 24 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.473

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Europe

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Boston Harbor

    1835
    John S. Blunt (American, 1798–1835 American)

    Description

    Blunt captured a rare event-the partial freezing of Boston Harbor. Ice was a serious hazard to shipping; in the distance a line of men pull a ship across the frozen water to get it to its destination. An inscription on the back of the painting locates the scene one mile below Boston’s Castle Island, facing east.

    Inscription

    Reverse, before fading: Boston Harbour Jany 12th 1835 I mile below the Castle looking to the East J S Blunt

    Provenance

    The artist; Louis Joseph Auction, Boston, 1945; with Charles D. Childs, Boston, 1945; to Maxim Karolik, Newport, R.I., 1945; to MFA, 1947, gift of Martha C. (Mrs. Maxim) Karolik.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Martha C. Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865

    Details

    Dimensions

    52.07 x 71.44 cm (20 1/2 x 28 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    47.1240

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Wreck of the "Ancon" in Loring Bay, Alaska

    1889
    Albert Bierstadt (American (born in Germany), 1830–1902)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: ABierstadt [AB in monogram]

    Provenance

    1889, the artist, until his death in 1902. With Rholfs Gallery, Brooklyn. About 1913, George Good, Brooklyn; by descent to his wife, Mrs. George Good. 1945, with Miss Frances Tarbox, New York; 1945, with Victor Spark, New York; 1945, sold by Victor Spark to Maxim Karolik, Newport, R.I.; 1947, gift of Martha C. (Mrs. Maxim) Karolik to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 12, 1947)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Martha C. Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865

    Details

    Dimensions

    35.88 x 50.16 cm (14 1/8 x 19 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    47.1250

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on paper mounted on Masonite

    On View

    Waleska Evans James Gallery (Gallery 236)

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • South Sea Whale Fishing II

    1831
    Robert Salmon (English, 1775–1845 or after (active in the United States 1828–42) English)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: R S 1831; Reverse: No. 719/Painted by R Salmon/ 1831

    Provenance

    1831, sold by the artist to Joseph Putnam Bradlee (1783-1838), Boston (original commission); 1838, by descent to his son, Josiah Putnam Bradlee (1817-1887), Boston; 1887, by descent to his nephew, Samuel Henshaw (1852-1941), Boston; 1941, by descent to Henshaw's friend and former secretary, Gertrude A. Thurston, Cambridge; 1945, gift of Miss Gertrude A. Thurston to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 12, 1945)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Miss Gertrude A. Thurston in memory of Samuel Henshaw

    Details

    Dimensions

    41.59 x 61.59 cm (16 3/8 x 24 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    45.233

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    On View

    George Putnam Model Ship Gallery (Gallery LG28)

    Collections

    Americas, Europe

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Brig rigged corvette

    about 1810 (rigging about 1840)

    Object Place: United States

    Description

    This corvette was originally a demonstration model to teach French naval cadets about sails and rigging. Brig-rigged corvettes were two-masted, square-sailed, armed ships that were widely used by European navies during the eighteenth century.

    Provenance

    Lent by J. Templeman Coolidge, 12/01/1927.

    Credit Line

    Gift of John Templeman Coolidge

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall (including cradle): 134.6 x 56.5 x 156.2 cm (53 x 22 1/4 x 61 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    32.142

    Medium or Technique

    Wood; boxwood

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

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  • Ship of the line "Mars"

    about 1800–15

    Object Place: England

    Description

    Ship models are usually rigged with threads of linen, cotton, or silk, but this model of “L’Mars”-a 132-gun ship of the line-was rigged with finely spun wool. The wool was coated with a drying oil and pine resin containing traces of copper and brass.

    Provenance

    J. Templeman Coolidge, by 1 December 1927, to the MFA in 1932.

    Credit Line

    Gift of John Templeman Coolidge

    Details

    Accession Number

    32.140

    Medium or Technique

    Boxwood

    On View

    George Putnam Model Ship Gallery (Gallery LG28)

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Models

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  • The Dory

    1887
    Winslow Homer (American, 1836–1910)

    Description

    Inscription

    Signed in gray watercolor l.l.: "Winslow Homer"; below this in lighter gray watercolor: "Winslow Homer / 1887"

    Provenance

    Miss Caroline Matthews, 1923

    Credit Line

    The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 38.7 x 54.2 cm (15 1/4 x 21 5/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    23.115

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor over graphite pencil on paper

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Watercolors

    More Info
  • Naval cutter "Earl Howe"

    about 1775–1800

    Object Place: England

    Description

    Scale: about 1/2 in. = 1 foot

    Provenance

    History of ownership: 1927, lent by J. Templeman Coolidge, December 1, 1927; 1932, gift of J. Templeman Coolidge (Accession Date July 21, 1932).

    Credit Line

    Gift of John Templeman Coolidge

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall (including cradle): 118.7 x 49.5 x 129.5 cm (46 3/4 x 19 1/2 x 51 in.)

    Accession Number

    32.144

    Medium or Technique

    Plank over hollowed-block hull; polychromed pine, oak, cedar, ebony, mahogany, brass, linen, steel, boxwood, pear, ash, copper, ivory, glass

    On View

    George Putnam Model Ship Gallery (Gallery LG28)

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Models

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  • Ship of the Line "Heros"

    about 1781

    Object Place: French in England

    Description

    This model of the French warship “Héros”-a 74-gun ship of the line-probably was made by French prisoners in British camps during the Napoleonic Wars (1793-1815). Inmates crafted articles to pass the time and to sell at prison markets, which were open to the public. Prisoners could obtain materials at such markets, but many models, including this one, were made predominantly of bone scraps saved from meals. Prisoners from Dieppe, France-who had been ivory workers-possibly crafted the fine ivory carvings at the bow and stern.

    Provenance

    To J. Templeman Coolidge, by 24 February 1921, to the MFA in 1932.

    Credit Line

    Gift of John Templeman Coolidge

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall (H x W x L): 71.1 x 25.4 x 96.5 cm (28 x 10 x 38 in.)

    Accession Number

    32.146

    Medium or Technique

    Other organic; whale bone

    On View

    George Putnam Model Ship Gallery (Gallery LG28)

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

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  • Ship "Henry Newell"

    about 1843

    Object Place: possibly Marseilles, probably France

    Description

    Water line model, not to scale, of the Henry Newell, a 200-ton merchant ship built in Nobleboro, Maine, by Clapp & Curtis in 1839; sails and rigging are of glass; on inlaid stand with small button feet; enclosed in bell glass.

    Inscription

    In pencil on underside of base: " 8 / 33 / PM"; "33" on sides; "33" stamped into the base, on the side.

    Provenance

    purchased from Abbie Martin, Portland, Maine, about July 1920 by J. Templeman Coolidge of Boston. Ms. Martin noted: "The ship model came from France and was brought to the old home of my great-grandfather at Harpswell, Me. (by my uncle Capt Matthew Martin) known as the Adams Martin home as my grandfather's mother was Adams and the place was first owned by the Adams of Boston who came there with their slaves." Matthew Martin was the captain of the Henry Newell. By descent to Ms. Martin; lent by J. Templeman Coolidge to the Museum on February 27, 1929; given by him in 1932.

    Credit Line

    Gift of John Templeman Coolidge

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 45.1 x 46.4 x 22.5 cm (17 3/4 x 18 1/4 x 8 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    32.166

    Medium or Technique

    Polychromed glass, paper, straw, silk; base of rosewood veneer, maple marquetry, boxwood stringing

    On View

    George Putnam Model Ship Gallery (Gallery LG28)

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Models

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  • U.S. Frigate Constitution

    1928
    Carved by J. Gregory Wiggins (American, 1890–1956), Built by William Francis Spicer (American, about 1850 to about 1928), M. L. Buschmann

    Description

    In 1794, in order to protect American merchant vessels from the attacks of Barbary pirates in the Mediterranean, Congress commissioned six frigates, including the 44-gun “Constitution.” Joshua Humphreys and Josiah Fox designed the vessels with sturdier timbering, heaver armament, and more sail than contemporary European frigates. “Constitution” was constructed at Hartt’s Shipyard in Boston and launched in 1797. After the War of 1812, the frigate remained on active duty until 1855, and then served as a naval training ship before being placed on exhibition at the United States Navy Yard, Boston, where she still may be visited.

    Provenance

    Lent by J. Templeman Coolidge, 04/07/1928.

    Credit Line

    Gift of John Templeman Coolidge

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall (H x W x L): 116.8 x 54.6 x 152.4 cm (46 x 21 1/2 x 60 in.)

    Accession Number

    32.150

    Medium or Technique

    Red Wood; oak

    On View

    George Putnam Model Ship Gallery (Gallery LG28)

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Models

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  • Dover Castle from the Sea

    1822
    Joseph Mallord William Turner (English, 1775–1851)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: J.M.W. Turner 1822

    Signed

    signed

    Provenance

    John Dillon (not in Christie's sale 1869); Chapman (according to Armstrong 1902); William Leech, sale Christie's, May 21, 1887, no.69 to Agnew; with S.P. Avery, Jr., New York 1900; David P. Kimball, Boston; bequest to MFA, November 1, 1923.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of David P. Kimball in memory of his wife, Clara Bertram Kimball

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Wilton 0505, related to Rawlinson 666

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 40.5 x 60 cm (15 15/16 x 23 5/8 in.) Framed: 73.3 x 93 cm (28 7/8 x 36 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    23.513

    Medium or Technique

    Transparent and opaque watercolor on paper

    Out on Loan

    On display at Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA, June 4, 2014 – September 1, 2014

    Collections

    Europe, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Watercolors

    More Info
  • Talatat: River scene with royal barges and tow boats

    Egyptian
    New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, reign of Akhenaten
    1349–1336 B.C.

    Object Place: Egypt, Akhetaten (el-Amarna); Findspot: Egypt, Hermopolis

    Description

    The Nile was Egypt’s great artery, and river pageants formed an important part of ceremonial life. Depicted on these two adjoining blocks are two royal barges. The barge on the right may be identified as Nefertiti’s by the two long steering oars that terminate in finials carved with her portrait. The queen wears the tall, flat-topped crown designed especially for her, surmounted by a sun disk and ostrich plumes.

    On the walls of the kiosk at the stern of the boat is a scene unprecedented in Egyptian art. There, beneath the radiant Aten, Nefertiti appears in the age-old pose traditionally reserved for kings, that of smiting a foreign enemy. Her enemy is female - another departure from tradition. The king himself appears in a complementary scene partially preserved on the barge on the left, where the victim is male. Not again until the Meroitic Period in Nubia, thirteen hundred years later, does the queen appear in this pose.

    Provenance

    Hermopolis (originally from el-Amarna). Excavated by the Deutschen Hermopolis-Expedition between 1929 and 1939 (Roeder, Amarna Reliefs, no. PC 150); by 1963: with Jean Vinchon & Cie.; purchased by the MFA from Jean Vinchon & Cie., March 20, 1963.

    Credit Line

    Helen and Alice Colburn Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Height x width x depth: 23.4 x 53.1 x 3.6 cm (9 3/16 x 20 7/8 x 1 7/16 in.) - Lower Block

    Accession Number

    63.260

    Medium or Technique

    Painted Limestone

    On View

    Egyptian New Kingdom Gallery (Gallery 210)

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Architectural elements, Relief

    More Info
  • U.S. Ship "Constellation"

    1850s?
    James Henry Wright (American, 1813–1883 American)

    Description

    Nearly as celebrated as Constitution, her sister ship, USS Constellation was one of the first frigates built for the U.S. Navy, and was launched from Baltimore in 1797. At the turn of the century Constellation patrolled the Caribbean, where her capture of the French warship Insurgent greatly increased the prestige of the young American navy. Subsequently, she was stationed in the Mediterranean, where she protected U.S. interests against the feared privateers of Tripoli.
    In December 1833, attempting a passage between the western coast of Turkey and mountainous islands off Greece, Constellation was nearly destroyed in a violent gale. Her safe arrival, after nearly a week in the storm, was due to the heroic seamanship of Captain Reed (or Read), whose name is inscribe at the bottom of this painting. The artist, possibly the same J. H. Wright who was active as a portrait painter in New York City at mid-century, created this stirring image some twenty years later, after the original square stern of the ship was replaced with the round stern that appears here. Although Wright described the vessel with some of the specificity of traditional ship portraits, his primary goal was to convey the drama of the event. He painted with great brio the shredded mainsail, the broken boom, and especially the hideous buffeting of the ship by the great serpentine wave that writhes across the surface of the painting like a primeval sea monster.

    This text was adapted from Gerald W. R. Ward, et al, American Folk (Boston, MFA Publications, 2001).

    Inscription

    Lower right: Painted by J.H. Wright.; lower edge: U.S. Ship. Constellation. Capt Reed. 16 Dec. 1833.

    Provenance

    The artist; with a Warwick, New York, dealer; with Harry Shaw Newman, New York, 1945; to Miss Berenice Abbott, New York, 1945; to Maxim Karolik, Newport, R.I., 1946; to MFA, 1948, gift of Martha C. (Mrs. Maxim) Karolik.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Martha C. Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815-1865

    Details

    Dimensions

    51.12 x 75.88 cm (20 1/8 x 29 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.495

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • The Hudson River Steamboat "Rip van Winkle"

    1854
    James Bard (American, 1815–1897)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: Drawn & Painted by James Bard/162 Perry St NY. 1854

    Provenance

    The artist; with Alfred W. Paine, New York, 1941; with Harry S. Newman, New York, 1941-42; with Victor Spark, New York, 1942; with Arnold Seligmann, Rey, & Co., New York, 1944; to Maxim Karolik, Newport, R. I., 1944; to MFA, 1947, gift of Martha C. Karolik.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Martha C. Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865

    Details

    Dimensions

    79.06 x 135.25 cm (31 1/8 x 53 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    47.1212

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Waleska Evans James Gallery (Gallery 236)

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Engagement Between the "Constitution" and the "Guerrière"

    1813
    Thomas Birch (American (born in England), 1779–1851)

    Description

    Thomas Birch was America’s first marine painter and thus the founder of a long and great tradition. He studied under his father, William, a painter and engraver, and in 1794 the two emigrated from England to Philadelphia. The War of 1812 inspired the younger Birch to produce a series of over a dozen naval pictures based on actual battles, each executed within months of the event—exemplars of the type of contemporary history painting initiated by Benjamin West. The unexpected American victories in the war against Great Britain—the first test of the nation as a military force—were a source of great pride to its citizens and provided a worthy subject for history painters to promote the new republic. Birch’s compositions were as accurate as he could make them. He carefully rendered the ships’ portraits and also included details of the fighting gleaned from interviews with participating crewmembers. His paintings were acclaimed not only for their sense of immediacy, but also for their appeal to the patriotic fervor of the young country.
    This painting documents the first great American naval victory of the War of 1812, the defeat of the British frigate Guerrière by the USS Constitution off the coast of Halifax, Nova Scotia, on August 19, 1812. At the right, the helpless Guerrière, her last mast broken off and crashing into the ocean, is driven up against the Constitution, whose cannonfire relentlessly continues to pound the British ship. American flags proudly wave above the conflict, while the British banner sinks into the waves. This was Birch’s first War of 1812 subject, and it established his reputation.

    The USS Constitution got her nickname, “Old Ironsides,” during this very battle. A British sailor, upon observing that their cannonballs appeared to bounce off of the ship (her hull is made of layers of oak up to twenty-five inches thick), exclaimed, “Huzzah, her sides are made of iron!”[1]The Constitution went on to win other engagements in the War of 1812. The oldest active ship in the United States Navy, she is permanently docked at Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston.

    Notes
    1. Naval History and Heritage Command, “USS Constitution: History,” accessed August 30, 2011, http://www.history.navy.mil/ussconstitution/history.html [http://www.history.navy.mil/ussconstitution/history.html].

    This text was adapted from Elliot Bostwick Davis et al., American Painting [http://www.mfashop.com/9020398034.html], MFA Highlights (Boston: MFA Highlights, 2003).

    Inscription

    Lower left: T Birch 1813

    Provenance

    Peale Museum, Baltimore. 1854, sold at the Philadelphia auction of Charles Willson Peale's collection of paintings to Joseph Harrison, Jr. (1810-1874), Philadelphia; 1874, by inheritance to his widow, Sarah Poulterer Harrison (1817-1906); March 12, 1912, Harrison sale, M. Thomas and Sons, Philadelphia to Herbert L. Pratt (1871-1945), New York; by 1945, by descent to his son, Frederick R. Pratt (1907-1966), New York. By 1977, with Coe Kerr Gallery, New York; 1978, sold by Coe Kerr Gallery to the MFA. (Accession Date: May 10, 1978)

    Credit Line

    Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow Fund and Emily L. Ainsley Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    71.12 x 92.07 cm (28 x 36 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    1978.159

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Kristin and Roger Servison Gallery (Gallery 133)

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • "British America" of Winsor N.S. Passing Flushing 1875

    about 1875
    Unidentified artist, American, 19th century

    Description

    Inscription

    Inscribed along bottom edge: BRIT. AMERICA. OF WINSOR, N.S. PASSING FLUSHING. 1875;

    Provenance

    The artist; Alice L. Bland, Southampton, NY (granddaughter of the shipowner); to MFA, 1986, bequest of Alice L. Bland.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Alice L. Bland

    Details

    Dimensions

    60.64 x 77.47 cm (23 7/8 x 30 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    1986.741

    Medium or Technique

    Reverse painting on glass and painted paper

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas

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    Paintings

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  • Model of a transport boat

    Egyptian
    Middle Kingdom, late Dynasty 11 – early Dynasty
    2010–1961 B.C.

    Findspot: Egypt, Deir el-Bersha, Tomb 10, shaft A (Djehutynakht)

    Description

    While late Old Kingdom tombs had included limestone statuettes of people engaged in chores such as food preparation, a new development occurred during the First Intermediate Period and Middle Kingdom. Now, models made of wood, a less costly material, were manufactured in large numbers and placed in the burial chamber to furnish provisions for the deceased in the afterlife. In symbolically providing for the tomb owner’s needs, the models functioned in much the same way as painted scenes of these activities did on the walls of tomb chapels.

    The tomb of Djehutynakht contained what may be the largest collection of wooden models ever discovered in Egypt. Toward the end of Dynasty 12 a change occurred in Egyptian burial customs for reasons that remain unclear. Although model boats continued to be placed in tombs, the scenes of crafts and food production disappeared permanently from the repertoire of funerary offerings. At approximately the same time, early versions of shawabtys, mummiform figurines intended to serve on behalf of the deceased in the afterlife, began to become more common in burials.

    Along with a collection of wooden models representing scenes of daily life, Djehutynakht equipped his tomb with a fleet of more than fifty-five model boats, the largest collection known from a single Egyptian tomb. Several types of craft are represented, including funerary vessels, boats for traveling, ships for troop or freight transport, hunting and fishing boats, and kitchen boats of the sort that would have accompanied a Middle Kingdom official and his entourage on voyages up and down the Nile. Although they vary in size and quality, all of Djehutynakht’s boat models are constructed in the same fashion, with the hull carved from a single piece of wood, while the cabins, masts, other fittings, and crews were made separately and attached with pegs.

    This model depicts a rapid troop transport vessel powered by eight pairs of rowers like one that would have accompanied Djehutynakt on his expeditions on the Nile. Between the rowers on the model at the far left are small-scale versions of a long cowhide quiver of spears and a pair of shields. This boat was also equipped with a mast, which, on the real vessel, would have been taken down while the sails were not in use and placed in crutches at the center of the ship. The forked posts in the center of the model represent these crutches.

    Provenance

    From Deir el-Bersha, tomb 10, shaft A (tomb of Djehutynakht). May 1915: excavated by the Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA in the division of finds by the government of Egypt. (Accession Date: March 1, 1921)

    Credit Line

    Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length x width x height: 120 x 40 x 44 cm (47 1/4 x 15 3/4 x 17 5/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    21.407

    Medium or Technique

    Wood

    On View

    Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood Gallery (Gallery 119)

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Models

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  • Ship in Storm

    1828
    Robert Salmon (English, 1775–1845 or after (active in the United States 1828–42) English)

    Description

    Salmon painted this theatrical seascape in 1828 when he immigrated to the United States from England. Under a dramatic sky the distressed ship flounders in the strong waves and is in imminent danger of crashing into the rocks. The figures in the foreground are powerless in the face of nature’s fury. The theme of ships in danger was common in the seventeenth-century Dutch painting and could symbolize the precariousness of life’s journey.

    Inscription

    No 600/Painted by/Robert salmon/1828

    Provenance

    The artist; Nathaniel T. Dexter; to MFA, 2000, gift of the Nathaniel T. Dexter Fine Arts Trust.

    Credit Line

    Gift of the Nathaniel T. Dexter Fine Arts Trust

    Details

    Dimensions

    36.19 x 50.48 cm (14 1/4 x 19 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    2000.688

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on board

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Europe

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Warship

    1775

    Object Place: France

    Description

    Corvettes were warships that carried fourteen to twenty-six guns and had a single, continuous deck. Usually ship-rigged (with square sails on all three masts), corvettes were smaller than frigates, but performed many of the same duties. An expert builder created the superb rigging on this model, which was used for the construction of a ship.

    Provenance

    Lent by J. Templeman Coolidge / February 27, 1929

    Credit Line

    Gift of John Templeman Coolidge

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall (including cradle): 125.7 x 41.3 x 142.2 cm (49 1/2 x 16 1/4 x 56 in.)

    Accession Number

    32.184

    Medium or Technique

    Wood

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Models

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  • "Marie Rose"

    1875–80

    Description

    Merchant barks such as the 1,000-ton “Marie Rose,” which was built between about 1875 and 1880, succeeded the fast clippers and were designed for cargo capacity rather than for speed. The bark rig reduced the need for a large crew, resulting in vessels that were more economical and were competitive with developing steamships. The bottom of the vessel’s hull was sheathed with copper laid over tar and horsehair, for protection from sea worms, barnacles, and rot. Here, the roof of the forward deckhouse has been removed, so that viewers may appreciate how model builders occasionally continued their finely detailed work in spaces that were not readily visible.

    Credit Line

    Gift of John Templeman Coolidge

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall (H x W x L): 78.7 x 33 x 132.1 cm (31 x 13 x 52 in.)

    Accession Number

    32.210

    On View

    George Putnam Model Ship Gallery (Gallery LG28)

    Collections

    Americas

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    Models

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  • Boston Harbor

    about 1850–55
    Fitz Henry Lane (American, 1804–1865)

    Description

    Gloucester, Massachusetts, native Fitz Henry Lane was at the height of his career by 1850, when he executed this grand and tranquil scene of the bustling port of Boston. From the vantage of a hill in East Boston, a perspective popularized in printed views of the city, Lane suggests topographical accuracy in his carefully constructed scene of vessels dispersed before the horizon. Prominent features of the city such as the Massachusetts State House and the Old South Church are clearly visible, but Lane lowered the horizon line to convey a sense of the expansive harbor. Like Thomas Cole [47.1201]and Frederic Edwin Church [1982.419], Lane was capable of achieving an extraordinary balance between reality and the ideal. Here he delicately combines the topography of the port with his idealized version of the scene; his romantic seascape is suffused with a sense of calm and quietude.
    Lane was largely self-taught, although he was a quick study of those resources available to him. As an apprentice in the Boston lithography shop of William S. Pendleton, he was known for his careful draftsmanship that enabled him to render all the details of different sailing vessels. While he honed his drawing skills producing popular prints, Lane also absorbed the lessons of British-born painter Robert Salmon, who settled in Boston in 1828 and flourished as a marine painter [27.356]. Lane’s Boston Harbor recalls Salmon’s handling of topographical details and his use of familiar devices, such as the small boat being rowed toward the horizon that provides a sense of scale.

    Lane portrays the calm waters with his characteristic luminosity. The elegiac quality of the scene is also typical of Lane; his paintings often depict the end of the day and evoke the end of an era. At the time Lane was painting his ambitious scenes of the major Massachusetts ports of Boston, Salem, and Gloucester, which likely appealed to patrons engaged in the shipping industry, the Erie Canal had diverted much of the traffic that would have passed through those destinations to New York. The encroaching world of steam power, which dominated the Hudson River corridor from Albany to New York City, is indicated here by the appearance of a white steam ship entering the harbor at the far right.

    This text was adapted from Elliot Bostwick Davis et al., American Painting [http://www.mfashop.com/9020398034.html], MFA Highlights (Boston: MFA Publications, 2003).

    Provenance

    Probably Amanda Hill (Mrs. Charles M.) Peirce (1836-1922), New Bedford, Mass.; by descent to her daughter, Annie Pierce (Mrs. Willis E.) Lougee (born 1861), New Bedford; by descent to her daughter, Grace Howland (Mrs. Moses M.) Sargeant (1881-1965), New Bedford; about 1960, by descent to her daughter, Anne Sargeant (Mrs. Thomas W.) Farnsworth, Jr., New Bedford; 1966, sold by Anne Sargeant Farnsworth to the MFA. (Accession Date: February 17, 1966)

    Credit Line

    M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865, by exchange

    Details

    Dimensions

    66.04 x 106.68 cm (26 x 42 in.)

    Accession Number

    66.339

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Dr. Lawrence H. and Roberta Cohn Gallery (Gallery 235)

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    Americas

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  • Gloucester from Brookbank

    1848
    Fitz Henry Lane (American, 1804–1865)

    Description

    Lane painted this view from Brookbank, Samuel E. Sawyer’s estate on the western shore of Gloucester’s outer harbor. Sawyer, a merchant, was one of Gloucester’s greatest benefactors, who funded, among other things, the city’s public library. While the painting surveys his property, it also shows Lane’s early sensitivity to the depiction of light.

    Inscription

    Lower left, on rock: F H Lane/1848

    Provenance

    1848, the artist. Annette Parsons (Mrs. John LeFavour) Stanley (1849-1918), Gloucester. By 1938, Mrs. Louise S. Campbell, Montclair, New Jersey; 1943, with Charles D. Childs, Boston; 1943, sold by Charles D. Childs to Maxim Karolik, Newport, R.I.; 1948, bequest of Martha C. (Mrs. Maxim) Karolik to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 3, 1948)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Martha C. Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815-1865

    Details

    Dimensions

    50.8 x 76.52 cm (20 x 30 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.444

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Dr. Lawrence H. and Roberta Cohn Gallery (Gallery 235)

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    Americas

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  • Fresh Water Cove from Dolliver's Neck, Gloucester

    early 1850s
    Fitz Henry Lane (American, 1804–1865)

    Place Depicted: Gloucester, Massachusetts, America

    Description

    Lane’s early paintings are filled with anecdotal detail and derive from his successful topographical lithographs. In this work, he carefully described rocks, trees, scrub, and coastline and accurately depicted their placement in the landscape. Many of the sites Lane painted in Gloucester allude to Cape Ann’s history: Fresh Water Cove was named for the spring found there by Samuel de Champlain in 1606.

    Provenance

    The artist; Leo Landry, Lynn, Mass.; with Harvey F. Additon, Boston, 1946; to Maxim Karolik, Newport, R.I., 1946; to MFA, 1948, bequest of Martha C. (Mrs. Maxim) Karolik.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Martha C. Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815-1865

    Details

    Dimensions

    61.28 x 91.76 cm (24 1/8 x 36 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.445

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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    Americas

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  • New York Harbor

    about 1855
    Fitz Henry Lane (American, 1804–1865)

    Description

    Lane probably traveled to New York City in the late 1840s, for by 1849 he had exhibited New York from Jersey City (location unknown) at the American Art-Union there, and then a second view, New York Harbor (location unknown) in 1850. The documented dimensions of the latter painting, 42 by 48 inches (106.7 by 121.9 cm), preclude it from being the MFA’s canvas, which measures 36 by 60 1/4 inches (91.4 by 153 cm), but the entry in the Art-Union catalogue could easily have described it: “Vessels of all kinds lying at anchor or sailing. In the distance the spires of the city.”[1]Lane continued to produce scenes of New York Harbor well into the 1850s.
    At the time that Lane painted its harbor, New York had become the nation’s busiest commercial seaport. The opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 diverted traffic to New York from other East Coast cities. Lane’s view also documents technological change: the variety of vessels shows the transformation in shipping at mid-century from sail to engine-powered craft. At the left, a large merchant ship is being guided out of port by a tugboat. Just behind it, a brig is maneuvered by a paddle-wheeler, and a ferry—a side-wheeler, also under steam power—shuttles passengers across the water. More steam is visible from a smokestack on a small craft in the distance. [2]

    Lane’s painting transcends the topographical. By the early 1850s he had achieved his mature painting style, characterized by carefully conceived compositions and delicate use of color and light. In New York Harbor, the profusion of boats is skillfully arranged. Lane divided them into two coherent groups, albeit asymmetrically, thereby opening up a pathway to a church spire at the right and to the sunset at the left. His composition bears similarities to the perspective diagrams in John Gadsby Chapman’s American Drawing-Book [1978.375], a publication that Lane, a largely self-taught artist, likely consulted. [3]Lane also balanced light and dark, showing the sails in shadow in the foreground group on the left and illuminating those on the right. Luminous colors extend across the background as the warm yellows of sunlight transition into soft pinks at the right. The subtlety of the Lane’s palette had darkened over time, but conservation treatment undertaken by the MFA in preparation for the opening of the Art of the Americas wing in 2010 revealed the artist’s mastery anew, showing that he suffused this composition with the delicate light and the glowing color for which he is best known.

    Notes
    1. Catalogue of Works of Art, Purchased by the American Art-Union, New York, 1850.
    2. Eric A. R. Ronnberg, Jr., “Imagery and Types of Vessels,” in Paintings by Fitz Hugh [sic] Lane (Washington D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 1988), 73.
    3. John Gadsby Chapman, The American Drawing-Book: A Manual for the Amateur, and Basis of Study for the Professional Artist: Especially Adapted to the Use of Public and Private Schools, as well as Home Instruction (New York: J. S. Redfield, 1847); see Elliot Bostwick Davis, Training the Eye and the Hand: Fitz Hugh [sic] Lane and Nineteenth Century American Drawing Books, exh. cat. (Gloucester, Mass.: Cape Ann Historical Association, 1993), 22–26.

    Karen E. Quinn

    Inscription

    Lower right: Fitz H Lane./185[?]

    Provenance

    Probably 1940s sold at unknown auction, Brooklyn to Harry Stone Gallery, New York. 1946, with Charles D. Childs, Boston; 1946, sold by Charles D. Childs to Maxim Karolik, Newport, R.I.; 1948, gift of Maxim Karolik to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 9, 1948)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Maxim Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865

    Details

    Dimensions

    91.44 x 153.03 cm (36 x 60 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.446

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    George Putnam Model Ship Gallery (Gallery LG28)

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    Americas

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  • Ships in Ice off Ten Pound Island, Gloucester

    1850s
    Fitz Henry Lane (American, 1804–1865)

    Description

    Provenance

    1850s. the artist. Annette Parsons (Mrs. John LeFavour) Stanley (1849-1918), Gloucester. By 1938, Mrs. Louise S. Campbell, Upper Montclair, New Jersey; 1943, with Charles D. Childs, Boston; 1943, sold by Charles D. Childs to Maxim Karolik, Newport, R.I.; 1948, bequest of Martha C. (Mrs. Maxim) Karolik to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 3, 1948)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Martha C. Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815-1865

    Details

    Dimensions

    30.8 x 50.16 cm (12 1/8 x 19 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.447

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Dr. Lawrence H. and Roberta Cohn Gallery (Gallery 235)

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    Americas

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  • Owl's Head, Penobscot Bay, Maine

    1862
    Fitz Henry Lane (American, 1804–1865)

    Description

    Owl’s Head is one of Lane’s best-known and most admired works. He presents a contemporary coastal town with its commercial traffic, but he has greatly simplified the idyllic harbor view—a popular artistic motif—in virtually every detail. There are few props in the foreground and background to suggest daily affairs; instead, a single boatman gazes at a seemingly unpopulated bay. The distinctive profile of Owl’s Head with its tiny lighthouse is clearly silhouetted against the evening sky.
    Geometric clarity and simplicity set Lane’s work apart from landscape scenes of the previous century. In Owl’s Head, nature is a presence that envelops and transfixes the solitary boatman, but Lane’s picture renders this presence in the modest format and with some of the decorative appeal of an earlier era.

    This text was adapted from Diana Strazdes’s entry in A New World: Masterpieces of American Painting, 1760–1910, by Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., et al., exh. cat. (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1983).

    Inscription

    Reverse, before relining: Owl's Head-Penobscot Bay, by F.H. Lane, 1862.

    Provenance

    Annette Parsons (Mrs. John LeFavour) Stanley (1849-1918), Gloucester; by 1938, to Mrs. Louise S. Campbell, Montclair, New Jersey; 1943, with Charles D. Childs, Boston; 1943, to Maxim Karolik, Newport, R.I.; 1948, bequest of Martha C. (Mrs. Maxim) Karolik to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 3, 1948)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Martha C. Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865

    Details

    Dimensions

    40 x 66.36 cm (15 3/4 x 26 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.448

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Dr. Lawrence H. and Roberta Cohn Gallery (Gallery 235)

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    Americas

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  • Brig "Antelope" in Boston Harbor

    1863
    Fitz Henry Lane (American, 1804–1865)

    Description

    Wealthy owners of sailing vessels commissioned images of their ships, just as landowners hired artists to paint pictures of their houses. Much of Lane’s income came from executing such works. Here, the artist painted “Antelope” (identifiable through her signal flags), as she appeared on her 1843 maiden voyage from East Boston to Asia. “Antelope” was one of the fastest ships trading between Boston, India, and China, a route that required extraordinary speed due to unpredictable weather and frequent pirate activity. Asian trade-in tea, fabric, and opium-established significant fortunes for many New England merchants.

    Inscription

    Reverse: Painted by F H Lane./July 1863

    Provenance

    The artist; Francis Dumaresq, Boston; to Henry de Ford, Brookline, his partner; to Adelaide de Ford, Brookline, his daughter; with Vose Galleries, Boston; with Charles D. Childs, Boston, 1945; to Maxim Karolik, Newport, R.I., 1945; to MFA, bequest of Martha C. (Mrs. Maxim) Karolik.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Martha C. Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815-1865

    Details

    Dimensions

    61.59 x 91.44 cm (24 1/4 x 36 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.449

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • View of Coffin's Beach

    Ipswich Bay

    1862
    Fitz Henry Lane (American, 1804–1865)

    Description

    View of Coffin’s Beach is an evocative late work by Fitz Henry Lane in which topography and anecdote are subordinated to the delicate beauty of dawn hues breaking over the land and water. The painting is based on a sketch Lane made from Two Penny Loaf, a rocky outcropping at the northern end of Coffin’s Beach on Ipswich Bay in Gloucester, Massachusetts (Coffin’s Beach from the Loaf, 1862, Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Massachusetts). Conservators and curators at the MFA have concluded that Lane used a camera lucida, a mechanical drawing device, to capture the shoreline with great accuracy. [1]While the finished painting replicates the outlines of the drawing, Lane widened the composition, accentuating the horizontal format and emphasizing the expansiveness of the landscape and a sense of emptiness. Lane’s subtle blending of the glowing pink-to-blue of the early-morning sky transforms a topographical study into one of his finest landscapes.
    Place, though, remained important to Lane and his patrons. On the back of the canvas, the geographical location is made clear. An inscription, now clearly identified as having been written by Lane himself, reads: “View of Coffin’s beach, from the Rocks/at the Loaf, after a sketch taken, August, 1862./Presented to Dr. H. E. Davidson and lady/by the Artist.” When Lane gave him View of Coffin’s Beach, Dr. Herman E. Davidson was an eminent physician in Gloucester. He had established his practice there in 1842 and soon became an active member of the community. He served on the school committee, was vice president of the Cape Ann Horticultural Society, and was a trustee of Oak Grove Cemetery. In 1873, Davidson was a founder and first president of the Cape Ann Scientific and Literary Association (now the Cape Ann Museum). How he and Lane met has yet to be established, but their relationship was close: Lane stayed with Dr. Davidson and his wife Sarah in their home on Dale Avenue (now the Sawyer Free Library) in the summer of 1862, the year he sketched Coffin’s Beach. Apparently Lane had had a major misunderstanding with his brother-in-law, Ignatius Winter, who was married to Lane’s sister Sarah. The couple lived with artist, but after their disagreement Lane felt compelled to leave his own home temporarily and seek sanctuary with the Davidsons.

    Lane often chose to paint sites in Gloucester of historical significance, including, for example, places such as Fresh Water Cove [48.445], named for the spring Samuel de Champlain found at the site in 1606. Coffin’s Beach, named after the landowners who established a farm there in the seventeenth century, is bracketed by the Essex River on the west and the Annisquam River on the east. In 1775, during the Revolutionary War, British loyalist Captain John Linzee (or Lindsay) sent men ashore at the beach from the sloop of war Falcon to procure sheep from the Coffin farm. Peter Coffin, an ardent patriot, gathered a handful of men and took positions behind the dunes to ward off the intruders. Their relentless volley of bullets convinced the sailors that there were more men protecting the farm than there actually were.

    It was probably the presence of John Charles Frémont, however, rather than the Revolutionary War association, that drew Lane to Coffin’s Beach in August 1862. A renowned explorer, Frémont had been controversial as a general in the Union army. He had overreached his authority and recently had been relieved of his command; at the behest of a friend, Frémont spent the month on vacation camping at Two Penny Loaf. Lane made a drawing of the camp on the dunes (Frémont’s Encampment at the Loaf, West Gloucester, 1862, Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Massachusetts) from which he produced an oil (location unknown) for Frémont’s wife Jessie. Probably around the same time, the artist completed the drawing Coffin’s Beach from the Loaf, which he used as the sketch for his painting View of Coffin’s Beach.

    View of Coffin’s Beach was given to the MFA by Dr. Davidson’s daughter, Alice Davidson Tilton, and is one of the few Lanes in the collection that descended in the family of the original owner. The painting came into the Museum as Ipswich Bay, but it has been recently retitled to reflect the location and inscription more accurately. Lane’s original titles most typically relate to his inscriptions.

    Notes
    1. See Karen E. Quinn with Sandra Kelberlau and Jean Woodward, “Rediscovering Fitz Henry Lane’s View of Coffin’s Beach on Cape Ann,” Magazine Antiques, July 2006, 66–69.

    Karen E. Quinn

    Inscription

    Reverse: View of Coffin's beach, from the rocks at/the Loaf, after a sketch taken, August, 1862./by Fitz H. Lane./Presented to Dr H.E. Davidson and Lady/by the Artist

    Provenance

    About 1862, gift of the artist to Dr. Herman E. Davidson (1815-1890) and his wife, Sarah, Gloucester, Mass.; 1890, by descent to their daughter, Alice Davidson (Mrs. Barclay) Tilton, South Hamilton, Mass.; 1953, gift of Mrs. Barclay Tilton to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 1, 1953)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. Barclay Tilton in memory of Dr. Herman E. Davidson

    Details

    Dimensions

    50.8 x 84.14 cm (20 x 33 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    53.383

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Dr. Lawrence H. and Roberta Cohn Gallery (Gallery 235)

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  • Castine Harbor and Town

    August 1851
    Fitz Henry Lane (American, 1804–1865)

    Description

    Inscription

    Inscribed upper left in brown ink: Castine harbor and town from American battery of 1779 at Hainey's Point, a short way northerly of Henry's Point of later time. / Fitz Henry [sic] Land of Gloucester, Mass., made this sketch for Noah Brooks in August 1851, and on its acceptance an oil painting. / In his will of date Nov. 30, 1900 Mr. Brooks bequethed the painting to the town of Castine "for the public library."

    Provenance

    Maxim Karolik (b. 1893 - d. 1963), Newport, RI; 1954, gift of Maxim Karolik to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 9, 1954)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Maxim Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Watercolors and Drawings, 1800–1875

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Karolik cat. no 489, fig. 108

    Dimensions

    Sight: 26 x 79.3 cm (10 1/4 x 31 1/4 in.) Framed: 47.6 x 99.7 cm (18 3/4 x 39 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    54.1727

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor over graphite, panorama on two joined sheets of moderately thick, cream wove paper

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Watercolors

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  • Salem Harbor

    1853
    Fitz Henry Lane (American, 1804–1865)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left center, on sail: FHL/1853

    Provenance

    1853, the artist; Nathaniel Silsbee, Jr. (1804-1881), Salem, Mass.; 1881, by inheritance to his wife, Marianne C. D. Silsbee (1812-1889); descended in the Silsbee family to her great-granddaughter, Marianne M. Beach, Salem, Mass. Maxim Karolik, Newport, R.I.; to MFA, 1964, bequest of Maxim Karolik.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Maxim Karolik

    Details

    Dimensions

    66.36 x 106.68 cm (26 1/8 x 42 in.)

    Accession Number

    64.465

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Dr. Lawrence H. and Roberta Cohn Gallery (Gallery 235)

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  • Fishing Party

    1850
    Fitz Henry Lane (American, 1804–1865)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: F H Lane 1850.

    Provenance

    Until at least 1856, the artist. By 1969, Henry Lee Shattuck (1879-1971); 1969, gift of Henry Lee Shattuck to the MFA. (Accession Date: May 14, 1969)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Henry Lee Shattuck

    Details

    Dimensions

    49.85 x 76.83 cm (19 5/8 x 30 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    69.405

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • San Giorgio Maggiore: from the Bacino di S. Marco

    about 1726–30
    Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal) (Italian (Venetian), 1697–1768)

    Description

    The Benedictine church of San Giorgio Maggiore, a masterpiece by Andrea Palladio begun in 1566, occupies its own island in the Venetian lagoon near Saint Mark’s Square (Bacino di S. Marco). The church features prominently in the work of Canaletto and his Venetian contemporaries who specialized in city views, known as vedute. Canaletto carefully composed the various elements of the painting, framing the composition with picturesque clusters of boats.

    Provenance

    Possibly acquired from the artist by Prince Joseph Wenceslaus of Liechtenstein (b. 1696 - d. 1772), Vienna; by 1873 until probably 1948, Princes of Liechtenstein collection, Vienna and Vaduz, Liechtenstein [see note 1]. J. Farago. 1956, Thos. Agnew and Sons, Ltd., London; 1956, sold by Agnew to William A. Coolidge (b. 1901 - d. 1992), Topsfield and Cambridge, MA; 1993, bequest of William A. Coolidge to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 27, 1993) NOTES: [1] For further discussion of the early provenance of this painting, see Peter C. Sutton, "The William Appleton Coolidge Collection" (Boston, 1993), cat. no. 11, pp. 63-65. While it is thought to have been acquired by Prince Joseph Wenceslaus in the 18th century, the painting cannot be securely identified in the princely collections until 1873. Its companion, depicting the Grand Canal, Venice, from Santa Maria della Carità (sale, Sotheby's, London, May 30, 1991, lot 61) remained in the Princes of Liechtenstein collection until 1948.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of William A. Coolidge

    Details

    Dimensions

    46.3 x 63.2cm (18 1/4 x 24 7/8in.) Framed: 60.3 x 76.8 x 6.4 cm (23 3/4 x 30 1/4 x 2 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    1993.34

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Robert and Ruth Remis Gallery (Gallery 244)

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  • The Britannia Entering Boston Harbor

    1848
    Artist Fitz Henry Lane (American, 1804–1865)

    Description

    The arrival of British steamship “Britannia” in Boston harbor in 1840 established a strong commercial link with Great Britain and made Boston the major American port for the transmission of mail and cargo to and from Europe. Steamships were familiar sights to Bostonians by this time, but it was a noteworthy event to see such an important vessel. Lane painted the steamship at least twice. In 1842 he depicted the ship foundering in rough seas (Peabody-Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts). This view, however, probably was based on a small pencil sketch he made on the spot some years earlier (Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Massachusetts). “Britannia” moves through Boston Harbor with a procession of sailing vessels and an American steamer behind; two rowboats filled with men salute the arriving ship.

    Provenance

    The artist; with Vose Galleries, by 1980; sold by Vose to Norma and Roger Alfred Saunders, 1980; gift of Saunders' to MFA. (Accession Date: September 20, 2000)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Norma and Roger Alfred Saunders

    Details

    Dimensions

    14 3/4 x 19 3/4 in. (37.5 x 50.2 cm)

    Accession Number

    2000.825

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    Not On View

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  • Cliffs of the Petites Dalles

    1880
    Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: Claude Monet 1880

    Provenance

    By 1894 with Durand-Ruel (New York, NY, USA; Paris, France); 1894 - 1906 Denman W. Ross (Cambridge, MA, USA) from Durand-Ruel; 1906 - Boston, MA, USA. Museum of Fine Arts (gift of Ross) (Accession date: March 8, 1906)

    Credit Line

    Denman Waldo Ross Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    60.6 x 80.3 cm (23 7/8 x 31 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    06.116

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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    Europe

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  • Ships in a Harbor

    about 1873
    Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: Claude Monet

    Provenance

    1880, purchased from the artist by Durand-Ruel, Paris, no. 1234. By 1893, Erwin Davis, New York; March 16, 1893, sold by Davis to Durand-Ruel, New York; 1893-97, with Durand-Ruel, New York, no. 1032; May 28, 1897, sold by Durand-Ruel to Denman W. Ross, Cambridge, Mass.; 1897-1906, Denman W. Ross collection, Cambridge, Mass.; 1906, gift of Denman W. Ross. (Accession Date: March 8, 1906)

    Credit Line

    Denman Waldo Ross Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    49.8 x 61 cm (19 5/8 x 24 in.)

    Accession Number

    06.117

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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    Europe

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  • Grand Canal, Venice

    1881
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir (French, 1841–1919)

    Description

    When Renoir’s Venetian pictures were first exhibited, one critic called them “the most outrageous series of ferocious daubs that any slanderer of Venice could possibly imagine.” They constituted a radical departure from traditional Venetian vedute—sober view paintings emphasizing the city’s famous monuments. Barely recognizable as the stretch of canal between the Ca’ Foscari palace and the Rialto Bridge, Renoir’s picture dissolves stone façades into a lacy pattern of color no more material than water or clouds.

    Inscription

    Lower right: Renoir. 81.

    Provenance

    May 12, 1882, sold by the artist to Durand-Ruel, Paris (stock no. 2110) [see note 1]; from Durand-Ruel, Paris to Durand-Ruel, New York (stock no. 2350); July 5, 1889, sold by Durand-Ruel to Alexander Cochrane (b. 1840 - d. 1919), Boston; 1919, bequest of Alexander Cochrane to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 3, 1919) NOTES: [1] The provenance was provided in a letter from Durand-Ruel, Paris to the MFA (February 20, 1962; in MFA curatorial file).

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Alexander Cochrane

    Details

    Dimensions

    54 x 65.1 cm (21 1/4 x 25 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    19.173

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Sidney and Esther Rabb Gallery (Gallery 255)

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  • Harbor Entrance

    1873
    Eugène Louis Boudin (French, 1824–1898)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: E. Boudin / 73

    Provenance

    Allard et Noel, Paris, France [see note 1]. 1876, Unknown sale; 1876, possibly purchased by Henry Clay Angell (d. 1911), Boston, MA; 1911, after his death, by inheritance to his widow, Martha Bartlett Angell (d. 1919), Boston, MA; 1919, bequest of Martha Bartlett Angell. (Accession date: March 20, 1919) NOTES: [1] according to Schmit, "Eugene Boudin" (1973), no.868.

    Credit Line

    The Henry C. and Martha B. Angell Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    37.2 x 59.7 cm (14 5/8 x 23 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    19.98

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Venice, Santa Maria della Salute from San Giorgio

    1895
    Eugène Louis Boudin (French, 1824–1898)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: Venise 95. / E. Boudin

    Provenance

    Until 1898, with the artist (b. 1824 - d. 1898) ; March 20, 1899, Boudin estate sale, Tual, Paris. By 1924, Robert J. Edwards (d. 1924), Boston, MA; 1925, bequest of Robert J. Edwards to the MFA. [see note 1] (Accession Date: April 2, 1925) NOTES: [1] Siblings Robert (d. 1924), Hannah (d. 1929), and Grace (d. 1938) Edwards were each collectors of art, who seemed to have had joint ownership of the objects in their possession. When Robert died, he bequeathed his collection to the MFA in memory of their mother, Juliana Cheney Edwards. In 1925, after his death, part of his collection was acquired by the Museum, and the remainder went to his sisters, with the understanding that the objects would ultimately be left to the MFA in the collection begun in memory of their mother. The collections of Hannah and Grace were left to the MFA in 1939, following Grace's death. It is not always possible to determine exactly which paintings each sibling had owned.

    Credit Line

    Juliana Cheney Edwards Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    46.3 x 65.4 cm (18 1/4 x 25 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    25.111

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Salmon Fishing

    1927
    Frank Weston Benson (American, 1862–1951)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: F.W. Benson./'27

    Provenance

    1927, gift of the Friends of the Museum to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 3, 1927)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Friends of the Museum

    Details

    Dimensions

    91.76 x 112.08 cm (36 1/8 x 44 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    27.574

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Port Scene

    Eugène Louis Boudin (French, 1824–1898)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: E. Boudin

    Provenance

    Gustave Cahen, Paris (executor of Boudin's estate); by descent to Cahen's heirs [see note 1]; 1937, sold by Cahen's heirs to Jacques Seligmann, and Co., Inc., Paris and New York; December 8, 1937, sold by Seligmann, New York, to John Taylor Spaulding, Boston; 1948, bequeathed by Spaulding to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 3, 1948) NOTES: [1] according to letter of December 8, 1937 from Jacques Seligmann & Co. to John T. Spaulding of the MFA in curatorial file.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of John T. Spaulding

    Details

    Dimensions

    15.5 x 21.2 cm (6 1/8 x 8 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.521

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    Not On View

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  • Trouville Les Jetees a Maree Basse

    1885
    Eugène Louis Boudin (French, 1824–1898)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: E. Boudin-85

    Provenance

    Paul Détrimont, Paris. Salles, Paris. By 1910, Cyrus J. Lawrence, New York. Henry Walters (b. 1848 - d. 1931), New York and Baltimore; December 1, 1943, posthumous sale of Sarah Green (Mrs. Henry) Walters, Parke-Bernet, New York, lot 1043, to Forsyth Wickes (b. 1876 - d. 1964), New York and Newport, RI; 1965, bequest of Forsyth Wickes to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 8, 1969)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Forsyth Wickes—The Forsyth Wickes Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    23.8 x 32.7 cm (9 3/8 x 12 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    65.2638

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    Not On View

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  • Fishing on the Bank of the Oise, Pontoise

    Emilio Sánchez Perrier (Spanish, 1855–1907)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: E Sanchez Perrier / Pontoise

    Provenance

    By 1978, Ira Spanierman, Inc., New York; 1979, sold by Spanierman to the MFA. (Accession Date: Janaury 10, 1979)

    Credit Line

    Fanny P. Mason Fund in memory of Alice Thevin

    Details

    Dimensions

    26.7 x 35 cm (10 1/2 x 13 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    1979.4

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    Not On View

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  • Calm Morning

    1904
    Frank Weston Benson (American, 1862–1951)

    Description

    In the late 1890s Benson began to paint outdoors and over the next two decades he produced many of his most popular plein air paintings, primarily of his family at play during idyllic summers. The setting is the island of North Haven, Maine; the family rented Wooster Farm there, beginning in 1901, and later purchased it. In Calm Morning Benson depicted his three oldest children fishing over the side of a dory—Eleanor, the eldest, to the left in the stern of the boat; Elisabeth to the right; and George standing. Benson’s bright, luminous colors and long varied brush strokes give the effect of warm sun shining on the children and the inside of the boat, contrasting with the cool, quiet ocean. He skillfully captured the reflections on the stern of the boat and the deep green color of the water in its shadow. Although Benson usually composed and painted a finished oil directly on the canvas, for Calm Morning he took a more academic approach, making three oil studies which he combined into this larger work. Benson was pleased with the result, declaring it his “best out of door work.”[1]

    Notes
    1. Frank W. Benson to James Gest, May 11, 1905, Benson file, Cincinnati Museum of Art, Ohio.

    This text was adapted from Janet L. Comey’s entry in Impressionism Abroad: Boston and French Painting, by Erica E. Hirshler et al., exh.cat. (London: Royal Academy of Arts, 2005).

    Inscription

    Lower left: F.W. Benson/1904

    Provenance

    About 1905, sold by the artist to Charles A. Coolidge, Sr. (1858-1936), Boston; after 1936, descended in the Coolidge family; 1985, gift of the Charles A. Coolidge Family to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 22, 1986)

    Credit Line

    Gift of the Charles A. Coolidge Family

    Details

    Dimensions

    112.71 x 91.76 cm (44 3/8 x 36 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1985.925

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Croll Gallery (Gallery 227)

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  • The Loing at Saint-Mammès

    1882
    Alfred Sisley (British (active in France), 1839–1899)

    Description

    At a moment when Monet sought out the charismatic coasts of Normandy and the French Riviera, Sisley continued to focus on his immediate surroundings, painting landscapes along the Seine in a high Impressionist style. Here wispy strokes of white suggest fast-moving clouds, while shorter, wetter ones describe the river’s ruffled surface. Humans are often all but absent from Monet’s pictures of the 1880s, but Sisley’s landscapes of the period remain emphatically inhabited, filled with the bridges, boats, and modest houses of his suburban environment.

    Provenance

    1890, Durand-Ruel, Paris; December 11, 1890, sold by Durand-Ruel to Coquelin Cadet; May 27, 1893, Coquelin Cadet sale, Georges Petit, Paris, lot 55. 1934, Bernheim-Jeune, Paris; November 15, 1934, sold by Bernheim-Jeune to Wildenstein & Co., Paris; transferred from Wildenstein, Paris, to Wildenstein, London; August 5, 1936, sold by Wildenstein, London, to William A. Coolidge (d. 1992), Topsfield and Cambridge, MA [see note 1]; 1993, bequest of William A. Coolidge to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 27, 1993) NOTES: [1] for details of Wildenstein's history with this painting, see letter of September 1, 1998 from Eliot W. Rowlands of Wildenstein & Co. to Erika Swanson of the MFA in curatorial file.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of William A. Coolidge

    Details

    Dimensions

    49.8 x 64.9 cm (19 5/8 x 25 9/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    1993.44

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Polly B. and Richard D. Hill Gallery (Gallery 253)

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  • Port of Le Havre

    about 1886
    Eugène Louis Boudin (French, 1824–1898)

    Object Place: France

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: E Boudin

    Provenance

    September 28, 1894, sold by Allard et Nöel, Paris, to M. Knoedler and Co., New York; March 17, 1898, sold by Knoedler to J. Eastman Chase Gallery, Boston [see note 1]. Until 1927, Elizabeth Howard Bartol (b. 1842 - d. 1927), Boston [see note 2]; 1927, bequest of Elizabeth Howard Bartol to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 8, 1927) NOTES: [1] This information comes from a letter from Lelia Wittler of Knoedler to Charles C. Cunningham of the MFA (February 3, 1940; in MFA curatorial file). Also see the Getty Provenance Index, M. Knoedler and Co. Records, PI record no. K-4188 (stock book 4, no. 7704, p. 194). [2] It is not known how or when Miss Bartol acquired this painting. In a letter from her cousin, John W. Bartol, to Charles C. Cunningham of the MFA (May 2, 1940) she is said to have acquired her collection of paintings "partly by inheritance and partly by purchase" and that there was no paperwork documenting these transactions.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Miss Elizabeth Howard Bartol

    Details

    Dimensions

    39.7 x 54.3 cm (15 5/8 x 21 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    RES.27.90

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Gloucester Mackerel Fleet at Sunset

    Prout's Neck, Mackerel Fleet at Sunset

    1884
    Winslow Homer (American, 1836–1910)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: HOMER 1884

    Provenance

    1884, painted for Arthur B. Homer, the artist's brother; about 1916, by inheritance to his son, Arthur P. Homer (d. 1940), West Townsend, Mass.;1922, consigned by Arthur P. Homer to Doll and Richards, Boston; 1923, sold by Doll and Richards to Helen Osborne (Mrs. James J.) Storrow (1864-1944), Lincoln, Mass.; 1944, by descent to her grandson, James J. Storrow. Jr. (1917-1984), New York; 1984, by inheritance to his wife, Linda Eder Storrow (1910-2001), New York; 1985, partial purchase and partial gift of Mrs. James J. Storrow, Jr. (Accession Date: September 17, 1986)

    Credit Line

    Henry H. and Zoë Oliver Sherman Fund and Mrs. James J. Storrow, Jr.

    Details

    Dimensions

    39.69 x 95.88 cm (15 5/8 x 37 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    1985.331

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    Not On View

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  • Gloucester Mackerel Fleet at Dawn

    Prout's Neck, Mackerel Fleet at Dawn

    1884
    Winslow Homer (American, 1836–1910)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: W.H. '84

    Provenance

    1884, painted for Arthur B. Homer, the artist's brother; about 1916, by descent to his son, Arthur P. Homer (d. 1940), West Townsend, Mass.;1928, consigned by Arthur P. Homer to Doll and Richards, Boston; 1928, sold by Doll and Richards to Helen Osborne (Mrs. James J.) Storrow 1864-1944), Lincoln, Mass.; by 1938, by descent to her son, James J. Storrow (1892-1977), Chestnut Hill, Mass.; after 1938, by descent to his son, James J. Storrow, Jr. (1917-1984), New York; 1984, by inheritance to his wife, Linda Eder Storrow (1910-2001), New York; 1985, partial purchase and partial gift of Mrs. James J. Storrow, Jr. (Accession Date: September 17, 1986)

    Credit Line

    Henry H. and Zoë Oliver Sherman Fund and Mrs. James J. Storrow, Jr.

    Details

    Dimensions

    39.69 x 95.88 cm (15 5/8 x 37 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    1985.332

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    On View

    Barbara and Theodore Alfond Gallery (Gallery 234)

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  • Slave Ship (Slavers Throwing Overboard the Dead and Dying, Typhoon Coming On)

    1840
    Joseph Mallord William Turner (English, 1775–1851)

    Description

    When Turner exhibited this picture at the Royal Academy in 1840 he paired it with the following extract from his unfinished and unpublished poem “Fallacies of Hope” (1812):

    “Aloft all hands, strike the top-masts and belay;
    Yon angry setting sun and fierce-edged clouds
    Declare the Typhon’s coming.
    Before it sweeps your decks, throw overboard
    The dead and dying - ne’er heed their chains
    Hope, Hope, fallacious Hope!
    Where is thy market now?”

    For the full text of Turner’s verse see A. J. Finberg, The Life of J.M.W. Turner, R.A., 2nd ed., 1961, p. 474

    Provenance

    Consigned by the artist to his dealer, Thomas Griffith (b. 1795); December, 1843, sold by Griffith to John James Ruskin (b. 1785 - d. 1864), London, for his son, John Ruskin (b. 1819 - d. 1900) [see note 1]; April 15, 1869, Ruskin sale, Christie's, London, lot 50, unsold; 1872, sold by Ruskin, through William T. Blodgett (b. about 1832 - d. 1875), New York, to John Taylor Johnston (b. 1820 - d. 1893), New York [see note 2]; December 19-22, 1876, Johnston sale, American Art Association, New York, lot 76, to Alice Sturgis Hooper (b. 1841 - d. 1879), Boston [see note 3]; by descent to her nephew, William Sturgis Hooper Lothrop, Boston; 1899, sold by William Lothrop to the MFA for $65,000. (Accession Date: February 24, 1899) NOTES: [1] See Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, "The Paintings of J. M. W. Turner" (New Haven and London, 1984), text vol., pp. 236-237, cat. no. 385 and John Gage, ed., "Collected Correspondence of J. M. W. Turner" (Oxford, 1980), 282-283. [2] See Madeleine Fidell Beaufort and Jeanne K. Welcher, "Some Views of Art Buying in New York in the 1870s and 1880s," Oxford Art Journal 5, no. 1 (1982): 51. [3] For further on Alice Sturgis Hooper, her brother-in-law, Thornton K. Lothrop, and his son, William, see Andrew Walker, "From Private Sermon to Public Masterpiece: J. M. W. Turner's _The Slave Ship_ in Boston, 1876 - 1899," Journal of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 6 (1994): 4-13.

    Credit Line

    Henry Lillie Pierce Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    90.8 x 122.6 cm (35 3/4 x 48 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    99.22

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    The Beal Gallery (Gallery 251)

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    Europe

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  • Fishing Boat

    1871
    Jean-François Millet (French, 1814–1875)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: [...]llet

    Provenance

    Probably with Durand-Ruel, London and Paris. Quincy Adams Shaw, Boston; 1917, gift of Quincy Adams Shaw, through Quincy A. Shaw, Jr. and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton, to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 29, 1917)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Quincy Adams Shaw through Quincy Adams Shaw, Jr., and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Murphy 146

    Dimensions

    24.7 x 33 cm (9 3/4 x 13 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1530

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • The Fog Warning

    Halibut Fishing

    1885
    Winslow Homer (American, 1836–1910)

    Description

    Winslow Homer made his reputation in the 1860s with images of the Union troops during the Civil War and of the returning veterans afterward. In the late 1860s and 1870s he turned to lighter subject matter and found an equally enthusiastic audience for his paintings of healthy, handsome children playing in the country or at the seashore, and of adults enjoying leisure-time pursuits. However, perhaps feeling the need for more important subjects in his art, Homer spent 1881–82 in Cullercoats, England. Both a fishing village and an artists’ colony, Cullercoats provided Homer with more profound themes: the arduous lives of fishermen and their families. Shortly after returning to the United States late in 1882, he settled in Prout’s Neck, Maine, similarly both a fishing community and a pleasant summer resort, where he painted the local population and their work. The Fog Warning is one of three paintings he produced at Prout’s Neck in 1885 describing the lives of the North Atlantic fishermen.
    Like many of Homer’s 1870s images featuring farm children, The Fog Warning is a painting with a narrative, though its tale is disturbing rather than charming. As indicated by the halibut in his dory, the fisherman in this picture has been successful. But the hardest task of the day, the return to the main ship, is still ahead of him. He turns to look at the horizon, measuring the distance to the mother ship, and to safety. The seas are choppy and the dory rocks high on the waves, making it clear that the journey home will require considerable physical effort. But more threatening is the approaching fog bank, whose streamers echo, even mock, the fisherman’s profile. Contemporary descriptions of the fishing industry in New England make clear that the protagonist’s plight—the danger of losing sight of his vessel—was an all-too-familiar event.

    The dramatic tension of The Fog Warning is all the greater because Homer does not specify the fisherman’s fate. However, Lost on the Grand Banks (1885, private collection), another painting in the Prout’s Neck series, shows that the fishermen’s peril was a deadly one. An account related in the 1876 history The Fisheries of Gloucester tells of the insidious horrors to which fishermen were prey and could well have served as a description of The Fog Warning: “His frail boat rides like a shell upon the surface of the sea … a moment of carelessness or inattention, or a slight miscalculation, may cost him his life. And a greater foe than carelessness lies in wait for its prey. The stealthy fog enwraps him in its folds, blinds his vision, cuts off all marks to guide his course, and leaves him afloat in a measureless void.”[1]

    Notes
    1. The Fisheries of Gloucester from the First Catch by the English in 1623, to the Centennial Year, 1876 (Gloucester, Mass.: Procter Brothers, 1876), 58.

    This text was adapted from Elliot Bostwick Davis et al., American Painting [http://www.mfashop.com/9020398034.html], MFA Highlights (Boston: MFA Publications, 2003).

    Inscription

    Lower left: Winslow Homer 1885

    Provenance

    1886, with Doll and Richards, Boston. 1893, purchased by an anonymous collector, Boston; 1894, anonymous gift to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 1, 1894)

    Credit Line

    Anonymous gift with credit to the Otis Norcross Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    76.83 x 123.19 cm (30 1/4 x 48 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    94.72

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Barbara and Theodore Alfond Gallery (Gallery 234)

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  • The Lookout – "All's Well"

    1896
    Winslow Homer (American, 1836–1910)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: HOMER/1896

    Provenance

    1897, sold by the artist to Thomas B. Clarke, New York; Feb. 14-17, 1899, Thomas B. Clarke Collection Sale, American Art Association, lot 84, to the MFA with 99.24 for $3,500. (Accession Date: February 24, 1899)

    Credit Line

    Warren Collection—William Wilkins Warren Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    101.28 x 76.52 cm (39 7/8 x 30 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    99.23

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Barbara and Theodore Alfond Gallery (Gallery 234)

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  • On the Open Sea-- The Transatlantic Steamship "Péreire"

    On Shipboard

    1877
    Henry Bacon (American, active about 1768 to after 1780)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: Henry Bacon 1877

    Provenance

    The artist; Mrs. Edward Livingston Davis; to MFA, 1912, gift of Mrs. Edward Livingston Davis.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. Edward Livingston Davis

    Details

    Dimensions

    50.16 x 73.98 cm (19 3/4 x 29 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    13.1692

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • South Sea Whale Fishing I

    1831
    Robert Salmon (English, 1775–1845 or after (active in the United States 1828–42) English)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: R S 1831; Reverse: No 718/Painted by R Salmon/1831

    Provenance

    1831, sold by the artist to Joseph Putnam Bradlee (1783-1838), Boston (original commission); 1838, by descent to his son, Josiah Putnam Bradlee (1817-1887), Boston; 1887, by descent to his nephew, Joseph Putnam Bradlee Henshaw, Boston; 1927, gift of Joseph P.B. Henshaw to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 2, 1927)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Joseph P. B. Henshaw

    Details

    Dimensions

    41.91 x 61.59 cm (16 1/2 x 24 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    27.356

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    On View

    George Putnam Model Ship Gallery (Gallery LG28)

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    Americas, Europe

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  • Starting Out After Rail

    1874
    Thomas Eakins (American, 1844–1916)

    Description

    Philadelphia painter Thomas Eakins had many and varied interests, and they all found their way into his pictures. He was an eager student of anatomy, attending lectures at local medical schools even while completing his artistic training at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; Philadelphia’s doctors and professors of medicine figure prominently among the subjects of his portraits. He was fascinated by perspective, optics, and stop-motion photography, and used perspective studies and photography in planning his oils and watercolors. He enjoyed music and often painted rehearsals, home musicales, and professionals in concert. He was also an avid outdoorsman, and especially in the 1870s, when his career was just beginning, he painted a number of pictures of friends and family members hunting, rowing, racing sailboats or, as here, setting out in pursuit of rail, small game birds that were plentiful in the marshes along the Delaware River.
    The sailors in this picture were friends of Eakins’s, Sam Helhower and Harry Young; their names are inscribed on the watercolor version of this painting (1874, Wichita Art Museum, Kansas). Eakins was a highly disciplined artist and often made carefully crafted studies in one medium as preparation for a work in another. In the case of Starting Out After Rail, he made a perspective drawing and this oil in advance of the watercolor. The composition reflects his love of boats and his fascination with perspective: as Eakins himself said, “I know of no prettier problem in perspective than to draw a yacht sailing … tilted over sideways by the force of the wind.”[1] Here, the “yacht” is a Delaware ducker, a small skiff that came into widespread use in the 1870s. His perspective study enabled him to place the boat so that the viewer—presumably positioned on a wharf, for the men have just begun their expedition—can see into the boat and understand its simple construction. In his precisely realistic style, honed during years of study in France with Jean-Léon Gérôme [03.605], Eakins renders the expressions of the sailors and their telling poses—one intent on manning the rudder, the other leaning more casually against the side of the boat—as vividly as in a close-up photograph. The bright sky and shimmering, blue-brown water make the scene seem even more immediate.

    Eakins clearly thought highly of this image, for he sent the oil to Gérôme in Paris to gauge his progress. The watercolor was the first picture he submitted to the American Watercolor Society’s annual shows. Although praised for its originality, the watercolor did not sell; Eakins reportedly later traded it for a boat.

    Notes
    1. Thomas Eakins, typescript, p. 41, Philadelphia Museum of Art, quoted in Kathleen A. Foster, Thomas Eakins Rediscovered: Charles Bregler’s Thomas Eakins Collection at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997), 132.

    This text was adapted from Elliot Bostwick Davis et al., American Painting [http://www.mfashop.com/9020398034.html], MFA Highlights (Boston: MFA Publications, 2003).

    Inscription

    Lower left: EAK[INS]; on stern of boat: EAKINS/74.

    Provenance

    1874, the artist; 1915, sold by the artist to Miss Janet Wheeler (1866-1945), Philadelphia; 1935, with Clarence W. Cranmer, Philadelphia; 1935, sold by Clarence W. Cranmer to the MFA for $3,500. (Accession Date: December 5, 1935)

    Credit Line

    The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    61.59 x 50.48 cm (24 1/4 x 19 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    35.1953

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas mounted on Masonite

    On View

    Barbara and Theodore Alfond Gallery (Gallery 234)

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  • Venice, Afternoon on the Grand Canal

    1911
    Edward Darley Boit (American, 1840–1915)

    Description

    Signed

    Lower left: Boit-Venice-1911

    Provenance

    Purchased by MFA. (Accession date: March 7, 1912)

    Credit Line

    Picture Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 38 x 48.2 cm (14 15/16 x 19 in.)

    Accession Number

    12.146

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor over graphite pencil on paper

    Not On View

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  • Rio di San Barnaba, Venice

    1911
    Edward Darley Boit (American, 1840–1915)

    Description

    Signed

    Lower left: Boit-Venice-1911

    Provenance

    Purchased by MFA. (Accession date, March 7, 1912)

    Credit Line

    Picture Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 48.2 x 35.5 cm (19 x 14 in.)

    Accession Number

    12.147

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor over graphite pencil on paper

    Not On View

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  • Venice: Under the Rialto Bridge

    1909
    John Singer Sargent (American, 1856–1925)

    Description

    Provenance

    Purchased from the artist through M. Knoedler, New York, April 4, 1912

    Credit Line

    The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 27.6 x 48.3 cm (10 7/8 x 19 in.)

    Accession Number

    12.203

    Medium or Technique

    Translucent watercolor, with touches of opaque watercolor, over graphite on paper

    Not On View

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  • The Zattere, Venice: Evening

    Evening on the Seine

    Pierre Vignal (French, 1855–1925 French)

    Description

    Signed

    Lower left: P. Vignal (P and V in monogram)

    Provenance

    Miss Florence Robinson; gift Feb. 1926

    Credit Line

    Gift of Miss Florence Robinson

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 38.8 x 29.5 cm (15 1/4 x 11 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    26.22

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor on paper

    Not On View

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    Europe, Prints and Drawings

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  • Venice from Riva degli Schiavoni

    1826
    Richard Parkes Bonington (English, 1802–1828)

    Description

    Provenance

    Coll.: with Doll & Richards, Boston, MA. Gift of Mrs. Horatio G Curtis in memory of Horatio G. Curtis June 2/July 21, 1927

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. Horatio Greenough Curtis in memory of her husband Horatio Greenough Curtis

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 18 x 17 cm (7 1/16 x 6 11/16 in. ) Mount: 27.8 x 25 cm (10 15/16 x 9 13/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    27.1331

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor on paper

    Not On View

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  • Nocturne in Blue and Silver: The Lagoon, Venice

    1879–80
    James Abbott McNeill Whistler (American (active in England), 1834–1903)

    Description

    Like Mary Cassatt [42.178], James Abbott McNeill Whistler lived an expatriate life abroad. One of the nineteenth century’s most influential painters, Whistler was also one of its most colorful personalities. He ignored his roots in Lowell, Massachusetts, preferring people to believe he had been born in Russia, where his father had been an engineer. He first earned acclaim in 1863 in Paris, where he had worked with some of the city’s most avant-garde painters, including the realist champion Gustave Courbet [18.620]. Whistler shocked the art establishment when his Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl (1862, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.) was exhibited at the infamous Salon des Refusés in Paris, a display of paintings that had been rejected from the official state-sponsored Salon exhibition. Many found indecent and incomprehensible his forthright image of a woman with her hair down, standing on a fur rug with a bouquet discarded at her feet. Whistler relished the controversy and courted such opportunities throughout his career.
    The artist’s only trip to Venice came at the close of another such episode. One of Britain’s most influential critics, John Ruskin, had accused Whistler of defrauding the public by exhibiting an abstract image of fireworks at night. Whistler sued Ruskin for libel in 1878, and while he won his case, he was awarded only one farthing in damages. [1]Whistler was bankrupt, and in consequence he took a commission the following year from London’s Fine Art Society to produce a series of prints of Venice. He spent about fifteen months in the watery city, living in reduced circumstances and borrowing many of his supplies from the admiring community of young American painters he befriended there. While he made over fifty Venetian etchings [33.15] and ninety pastels, Whistler produced only three paintings in oil, including Nocturne in Blue and Silver: The Lagoon, Venice.

    Venice’s mysterious elegance was particularly suited to Whistler’s style. He rejected meticulous representation, preferring instead to paint mood and atmosphere and seeking to express beauty in the line, color, and arrangement of his compositions. Fascinated with the art of Japan, as were many of his contemporaries, Whistler explored flattened pictorial space and subtle arrangements of color and shape. He likened his paintings to music, often naming them after particular musical forms such as the nocturne, popularized by Frederic Chopin; symphony; harmony [60.1158]; and arrangement. In this composition, painted from the Piazzetta near the Royal Gardens, the sparkling colors of Venice are reduced to an ethereal blue and grayish silver that seem to mimic the city’s elusive structure. In the background, the silhouette of the church of San Giorgio Maggiore hovers without substance, while the distant lights of the strand at the Lido glimmer along the horizon. Whistler has captured Venice in the way the poet Lord Byron had described it—a “fairy city of the heart.”[2]

    Notes
    1. See Richard Dorment, “Whistler v. Ruskin,” in James McNeill Whistler, by Richard Dorment and Margaret F. MacDonald, exh. cat. (Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 1994), 136–38; Linda Merrill, A Pot of Paint: Aesthetics on Trial in Whistler v. Ruskin (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992).
    2. Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, canto 4, stanza 18.

    This text was adapted from Elliot Bostwick Davis et al., American Painting [http://www.mfashop.com/9020398034.html], MFA Highlights (Boston: MFA Publications, 2003).

    Inscription

    Lower right: butterfly cartouche; Reverse: Nocturne Blue & Silver/The Lagoon Venice—/by J. McNeill Whistler—

    Provenance

    1879-80, the artist; November 25, 1903, Hotel Drouot, Paris, lot 1 to William S. Marchant of Goupil Gallery, London; 1904, sold by Goupil Gallery to Richard A. Canfield (1855-1914), New York; 1914, sold by Richard Canfield to M. Knoedler & Co., New York; 1914, sold by M. Knoedler & Co. to Anna Blaksley Barnes (Mrs. William H.) Bliss (1851-1935), New York; by descent to her daughter, Mildred Barnes (Mrs. Robert Woods) Bliss (1879-1969), Washington, D.C.; 1942, sold by Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss to the MFA for $9,000. (Accession Date: June 9, 1942)

    Credit Line

    Emily L. Ainsley Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    50.16 x 65.4 cm (19 3/4 x 25 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    42.302

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Robert P. and Carol T. Henderson Gallery (Gallery 228)

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  • Santa Maria Formosa, Venice

    1912
    Maurice Brazil Prendergast (American (born in Canada), 1858–1924)

    Description

    Inscription

    Inscriptions: l.r. in black ink: Maurice B. Prendergast/Venis 1912

    Provenance

    Comtesse de Bellele; to Wildenstein (New York); Victor D. Spark (1898-1991, New York); from whom purchased by MFA, February 12, 1959.

    Credit Line

    The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Clark, Matthews, Owens 1013

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 55.9 x 38.7 cm (22 x 15 1/4 in.) Framed: 78.1 x 61.9 cm (30 3/4 x 24 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    59.58

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor and graphite pencil on paper

    Not On View

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  • An Afterglow

    1883
    Winslow Homer (American, 1836–1910)

    Description

    Inscription

    Signed and dated at left (on transom of boat) in black wash: "HOMER 1883" On verso: in pen and brown ink (probably in Homer's hand) No. 21 (outlined) Verso: miscellaneous notations.

    Markings

    PDP Watermark Type: with partial watermark: "J. WHATMAN"

    Provenance

    Doll and Richards, Boston, 1883; Thomas Wigglesworth, Boston, 12/1883; Henry S. Grew; with Doll and Richards, Boston, 1900; William P. Blake, Boston, Feb, 1900; Bequest of William P. Blake in memory of his mother, Mary M. J. Dehon Blake, 1922

    Credit Line

    Bequest of William P. Blake in memory of his mother, Mary M. J. Dehon Blake

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 38.0 x 54.7 cm (14 15/16 x 21 9/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    22.606

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor over graphite pencil on paper

    Not On View

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  • Early American Privateer "Avon"

    about 1815
    Unidentified artist, American, 19th century

    Description

    Provenance

    The artist; J. Templeton Coolidge; to MFA, 1932, gift of J. Templeton Coolidge.

    Credit Line

    Gift of John Templeman Coolidge

    Details

    Dimensions

    50.8 x 71.12 cm (20 x 28 in.)

    Accession Number

    32.193

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

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  • Sovereign of the Seas

    about 1635
    Attributed to Peter Pett (English, 1610–1672), Formerly attributed to Anthony van Dyck (Flemish, 1599–1641)

    Description

    Provenance

    Found in a London residence originally owned by John Jackson, nephew and heir to Samuel Pepys; purchased in 1913 by British collector H. Oatway (possibly purchased from someone other than Jackson); purchased at the sale of Oatway's estate by A. A. Collins, Greenwich, Connecticut, 1915; from whom purchased by Jefferson Templeman Coolidge, 1926/27; lent to the museum by Coolidge, 27 February 1929; given by Coolidge to the museum, 21 July 1932. Transferred to the Department of Prints, Drawings and Photographs, 1 May 1980.

    Credit Line

    Gift of John Templeman Coolidge

    Details

    Dimensions

    Framed: 58.4 x 178.1 x 5.1 cm (23 x 70 1/8 x 2 in.)

    Accession Number

    32.192

    Medium or Technique

    Pen and ink with tempera on vellum, mounted on board

    On View

    George Putnam Model Ship Gallery (Gallery LG28)

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  • Engagement Between the "United States" and the "Macedonian"

    1813
    Thomas Birch (American (born in England), 1779–1851)

    Description

    Provenance

    The artist; Peale Museum, Baltimore; Joseph Harrison, Philadelphia; Herbert L. Pratt, New York, about 1912; Frederick Pratt, New York; with Coe Kerr Galleries, New York; to MFA, 1978, partial gift and partial purchase.

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated anonymously and Juliana Cheney Edwards Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    70.48 x 91.12 cm (27 3/4 x 35 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1978.180

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Kristin and Roger Servison Gallery (Gallery 133)

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  • Boats at T Wharf

    about 1915
    Arthur Clifton Goodwin (American, 1864–1929)

    Description

    When Goodwin completed this canvas in about 1915, T wharf in Boston harbor was one of the largest fish piers in the world. T wharf, which acquired its name from its shape, was a frequent subject for the artist, who also painted views of Boston and New York in an impressionist style. Goodwin focused attention on the red fishing boat in the foreground and enlivened the scene by including working fishermen and a forest of masts.

    Inscription

    Lower right: A.C. GOODWIN.

    Provenance

    The artist; Murray and Selma Albertson; to Charles H. and Jane R. Weingarten, 1967; to MFA, 1982, gift of Murray and Selma Albertson.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Charles H. and Jane R. Weingarten

    Details

    Dimensions

    40.96 x 51.12 cm (16 1/8 x 20 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1982.798

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • "Suzanne et le Pacifique - Robe de bains de mer, en 'chevrons laine,' de Rodier," plate 42 from Gazette du Bon Ton, Volume 2, No. 6

    French
    July 1922
    Fernand Siméon (French, 1884–1928 French), Illustrating design by Rodier (French, founded 1848), Publisher Librairie Centrale des Beaux-arts

    Object Place: Paris, France

    Description

    Cette robe pour les bains de mer est faite dans le lainage de Rodier “chevrons laine.”

    Provenance

    By 1952, William Morris Hunt Memorial Library; accessioned by MFA, Boston, February 12, 2004

    Credit Line

    Transferred from the William Morris Hunt Memorial Library

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 25.4 x 19.1 cm (10 x 7 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    2004.51.2

    Medium or Technique

    Woodcut with hand-applied color (pochoir)

    Not On View

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    Europe

    Classifications

    Books and manuscripts, Books

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  • The British Fleet Forming a Line off Algiers

    1829
    Robert Salmon (English, 1775–1845 or after (active in the United States 1828–42) English)

    Description

    English-born Robert Salmon arrived in Boston in August 1828. Soon thereafter, he began to work on a series of three large-scale paintings depicting events centered around the naval bombardment of Algiers in 1816. In addition to the MFA’s work, he executed a view of the city and a night battle scene (New Britain Museum of American Art, Connecticut, and location unknown, respectively). According to the numbered inventory of paintings the artist kept, The British Fleet Forming a Line off Algiers was 630, the first entry for 1829, and (in his spelling), “The second sean for sellf, begun the first Janewary, finished the 30. Vew of the British fleet forming the line in the vicinity of Algears.”[1]Salmon chose his subject with care, selecting a theme that likely had resonance for his American audience, since the United States had been involved in war against the North African Barbary States for their piracy and enslavement of Christians as early as 1801. A series of naval actions followed, but were interrupted by the War of 1812. Naval hero Stephen Decatur brought Tunis, Tripoli, and Algiers to treaty terms in 1815, establishing a temporary peace.New trouble broke out with the dey of Algiers in 1815, and the British (with the Dutch) intervened in 1816 after violent actions were committed against English citizens.
    On a canvas over eight feet tall and more than fifteen feet long, Salmon represented the British fleet moving into position on August 27, 1816. The hills of Algiers are visible in the background. With great detail, the artist depicted a dozen British men-of-war maneuvering into line, with small boats plying the waters between them. The Algerians fired the first shots, answered in full force by British cannons. After the bombardment, the Algerian fleet was destroyed, the European slaves were released, and there was another temporary peace.

    Salmon may have been inspired to create his own monumental scenes after having seen panoramas of Algiers in Glasgow and Liverpool in the 1820s. A popular nineteenth-century entertainment, panoramas consisted of large paintings of spectacular places or events that were unrolled past the viewer, accompanied by music and narration. There is no evidence to suggest that the Salmon canvases were used as actual panoramas, but they were displayed together in 1830 to acclaim. One writer noted that “the entire exhibition is elegant, brilliant and edifying,” but he did not describe anything to indicate that the paintings were used as a moving panorama. [2]The medium, however, casein on a fine canvas, was quickdrying and often used for theatrical set painting; from the speed with which the canvases were completed, it is likely that Salmon was anxious to capitalize on public interest.

    Mary Lee Ware inherited the painting from her father, Dr. Charles Eliot Ware, a leading physician in Boston; how he acquired it remains unknown. Mary and her mother Elizabeth also commissioned the Glass Flowers (the Ware Collection of Glass Models of Plants) now at Harvard University’s Museum of Natural History, donated in memory of Charles Eliot Ware.

    Notes
    1. Catalogue of Robert Salmon’s Pictures, 1828 to 1840, From his own Notes, Now in the Possession of Miss Darracott, 1881, manuscript, Boston Public Library.
    2. Unidentified author, Boston Daily Advertiser, June 25, 1830, quoted in John Wilmerding, Robert Salmon, Painter of Ship and Shore (Salem, Mass.: Peabody Museum of Salem in association with the Boston Public Library, 1971), 39.

    Karen E. Quinn

    Inscription

    Lower right: R.S. 1829

    Provenance

    Dr. Charles Eliot Ware (1814-1887), Boston; 1887, by inheritance to his daughter, Miss Mary Lee Ware (1858-1937), Boston and Rindge, N. H.; 1937, bequest of Miss Mary Lee Ware to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 3, 1937)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Miss Mary Lee Ware

    Details

    Dimensions

    251.46 x 483.23 cm (99 x 190 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    37.500

    Medium or Technique

    Distemper on canvas

    On View

    George Putnam Model Ship Gallery (Gallery LG28)

    Collections

    Americas, Europe

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  • Procession of Gondolas in the Bacino di San Marco

    about 1780–93
    Francesco Guardi (Italian (Venetian), 1712–1793)

    Description

    Like Canaletto, Guardi was a painter of vedute or views of his native Venice. He was particularly drawn to festive and ceremonial subjects, such as this procession of gondolas, which may be part of the entourage of the annual celebration of Venice’s “Marriage to the Sea.” In the background, warships hail the returning boats with cannon salutes. On the left is the church of San Giorgio Maggiore, which also appears in Canaletto’s Bacino di San Marco, Venice. Compared to the precise handling of Canaletto’s painting, Guardi’s is freer and more atmospheric, with lively brushwork, less detail, and a greater contrast of light and shadow.

    Provenance

    Captain Harvey (possibly John Edmund Audley Harvey, b. 1851 - d. 1937, Ickwell Bury, Bedfordshire, England) [see note 1]. With Dowdeswell and Dowdeswell, London [see note 2]. July 11, 1907, sold by Calouste Gulbenkian (b. 1869 - d. 1955) to Thomas Agnew and Sons, London (stock no. 2314); July 7, 1909, sold by Agnew to Michele Lazzaroni, Paris [see note 3]. 1911, Trotti et Companie, Paris; 1911, sold by Trotti to Jules Guiffrey for the MFA for 135, 000 fr. (Accession Date: July 6, 1911) NOTES: [1] When the painting was sold to the MFA by Trotti in 1911, the receipt noted that it had come from the collection of "Capt. Harvey, London." Captain John Edmund Audley Harvey, an art collector, lived at Ickwell Bury and owned "two fine works by Guardi" (see John Murray, Handbook for Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, and Huntingdonshire, London, 1895, p. 206). In 1936, Trotti reported that they had handled a second Guardi from the Harvey collection, in 1909. This painting (now Copenhagen, Statens Museum for Kunst, KMS3630), while considered a pendant to the MFA work, was not sold with it, either to Agnew or to Trotti. [2] According to notes in the MFA curatorial file. [3] Getty Research Institute, Records of Thos. Agnew and Sons Ltd., 1852-1938, microfiche no. 29.

    Credit Line

    Picture Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    98.1 x 138.1 cm (38 5/8 x 54 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    11.1451

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe

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  • Rising of a Thunderstorm at Sea

    1804
    Washington Allston (American, 1779–1843)

    Description

    Provenance

    1804, the artist. By 1827, J. Mason, Boston. By 1839, Samuel D. Parker, Boston; about 1869, by descent to Eliza Parker; by descent to the heirs of Eliza Parker; 1878, purchased from the heirs of Eliza Parker for $400. (Accession Date: January 1, 1878)

    Credit Line

    Everett Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    97.15 x 129.54 cm (38 1/4 x 51 in.)

    Accession Number

    78.46

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Prudence S. and William M. Crozier, Jr. Gallery (Gallery 121)

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • New York Harbor

    about 1827–35
    Thomas Birch (American (born in England), 1779–1851)

    Description

    Birch immigrated to Philadelphia at the age of fifteen. He became known for marine and battle paintings and created views of many harbors along the eastern seaboard. Here, several New York landmarks are visible in the background, including Castle Williams, a circular fort on Governor’s Island, and the distant steeple of Trinity Church. A light-filled depiction of a peaceful harbor, this painting demonstrates the artist’s skill at capturing the movement of the water and the filling of the sails with wind.

    Inscription

    Reverse, before relining: New York/T. Birch/Phila.

    Provenance

    The artist; Cornelius Michaelson, New York; with I. Podgoursky, New York; with Charles D. Childs, Boston, 1938; to Maxim Karolik, Newport, R.I.; to MFA, 1947, gift of Martha C. (Mrs. Maxim) Karolik.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Martha C. Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865

    Details

    Dimensions

    51.43 x 77.2 cm (20 1/4 x 30 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    47.1181

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

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