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Sailing in American Art

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New York Harbor, 1852

Fitz Henry (Hugh) Lane - New York Harbor, 1852

Fitz Henry (Hugh) Lane

Gift of Frances Elizabeth Smith 1994.100.1

It is said that Fitz Henry Lane was one of the few landscape painters that was able to create realistic marine landscapes. As one of small group of painters privileged enough to grow up on the sea, Lane was able to portray marine life in an accurate way. In many of his works, such as New York Harbor, Lane is able to capture the beauty of the sea and the detail of the ships with remarkable fidelity. With ease, he expertly creates a vision of sailing across the New York Harbor at sunset. Lane’s subtle use of a single light source in the distance provides an almost dream-like quality to the fleet of ships passing by, a quality found in most of his works.


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