An online project under the direction of the CAPE ANN MUSEUM
Marine Insurance Company
Essay to come.
"...It was my good fortune, in the company of a few friends, to visit Mr. Lane's studio where are several fine paintings. Among these were a night scene, with the full moon shining upon the dark tranquil waters with a fire in the distance, which uniting with the soft rays of the moon gave it a most delightful effect. Also a view of Boston with its magnificent harbor, on which are many fine vessels, steamboats, &c. The picture represents a beautiful, calm day, with many fine craft all ready for sea, with their graceful shadows reflected so life-like in the waters, that one feels he too is standing on board, will soon be moving on that expanse which Mr. Lane has made so delightfully placid, that even the greatest coward would be allured into a sea voyage.
I suppose it is generally known that Mr. Lane stands highest– as a marine artist– in the world. Salmon by many was considered his superior, while others gave Lane the precedence. Salmon has passed away with the last year, leaving his immortal gifts and laurels to Europe, while Mr. Lane still lives to bring down the glorious clouds, and make the mighty ocean subservient to his tastes.–
May he long live to gladden the world with his precious gifts, and enjoy his delightful home which refined tastes are beautifying.
His residence commands one of the finest water prospects in town. Standing upon the threshold of his delightful home, we witnessed one of those glorious sunsets which can only be seen in our New England Springs, and as we looked abroad, my friend remarked,"truly, Mr. L. has made the waste places glad." –LOUISE.
[The view in Boston Harbor of which our fair correspondent speaks has been placed on exhibition for a few days in the Reading Room of the Marine Insurance Company. It is a rare specimen of excellence in naval painting. There is a type of almost all the various classes of vessels composing our marine, and so truthfully rendered as to defy criticism. –Ed.Tel]
From bound volume owned by publisher Francis Procter
Collection of Fred and Stephanie Buck
“LANE’S CHEF-D’OEUVRE. – Our talented townsman, Fitz H. Lane, Esq., one of the finest marine painters in this country, has now on free exhibition at the room of the Marine Insurance Company, a picture of New York harbor, with all the bewildering variety of ship-craft for which that bay is noted. The beholder seems standing upon the water; at a distance is a faint outline of the city, with that object, which like the State House in Boston, is always the most conspicuous in a view, however faint, of New York city—Trinity Church. A warm glow of sunshine rests upon the whole picture. Here is the stately clipper ship; the graceful steamer; the clumsy Indiaman; the rakish pilot boat; the puffing tug-boat and the uncouth lighter, and one waits in expectancy for the ferry boat to rush across the quiet scene. The shadows of the ships’ tall masts seem trembling down in the bosom of the water: every rope, block and sail, is arranged with nautical skill and exactness: in fine, the picture is worthy of Lane’s genius and his inimitable pencil. If it is not already purchased, it should be placed in the Merchant’s Exchange of New York, by the merchant princes of that city.”
Gloucester Telegraph p. 2, col. 3
Boston Public Library
Accession # G587
"PICTURES. – Two of Lane's finest paintings are on exhibition at the Marine Insurance Reading Room. One is a most spirited representation of a gale on the sea coast. Huge rollers come rumbling towards the rocky foreground where the spray dashes high and the receding wave is thrown up sharp and wedgelike by the great crested breaker under which it is speedily overwhelmed. In the middle distance a bald headland receives the sun's rays which slant through the mist from an opening in the heavy clouds. A close reefed ship leaps proudly over the waves and safely weathers the dangerous point beyond.
The companion-piece is a bay scene in which the setting sun throws a flood of golden light over the placid water. Vessels of different kinds, with sails in light and shadow, enliven the picture. A homely old sloop getting underweigh well sets off the most prominent object - a handsome ship under full canvass, slowly gliding over the ground-swell with a light breeze afloat, while there is hardly enough below to make a cat's paw.
These pictures were painted for the spring exhibition of the National Academy at New York, whither they will go unless stopped by some appreciative purchaser.
In Lane's studio are several gems of art. - Wind against Tide on Georges, a stirring pure marine, and Recollections of Mount Desert, an exquisite bit of landscape, evince a versatility of pencil which he is not generally known to possess.
The demand for a View of Gloucester worth having (as that poor caricature of Tidd's is not) has induced Lane to supply another, which is the third and largest of his series. It is taken from Rocky Neck, like its predecessor. Of course all the modern improvements visible from that point of view are represented with the artist's usual accuracy of drawing. To the first 300 subscribers the print will be offered at the low price of $2.25 per copy. The original painting from which it is lithographed, and several other of his pictures, will be distributed by lot among those who choose to take their copies at $2.75 – a price which the print alone will command before the entire edition is exhausted."