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Two Unusual Hunting Scenes: Lane's Early Watercolor Shooting Seabirds (1842) and Rafes Chasm (1853), Oil on Canvas »

Shooting Seabirds, c.1842 (inv. 789)

This exquisite early watercolor is one of only several we know by Lane. It is relatively small, 8 1/2 inches by 10 1/2 inches and is dated 1842. Lane was still working as a lithographer in Boston and is clearly employing those same techniques here with careful outline drawing and literal coloring. At first look it could be mistaken for a hand-colored lithograph. The work is signed on the front and is inscribed on the back, “John S. Chase Esq. Presented by Mr. Geo Parker, March 21, 1842.”

The site is likely a view from the Magnolia shore on the west side of Gloucester’s outer harbor looking east across to the Eastern Point lighthouse and the open ocean beyond. There is a wonderful primitive quality to the scale and perspective of the boats and the stylized drawing of the breaking waves. Lane has given equal emphasis to all elements of the composition, and while the coloring is quite literal he has created a lovely harmony with the various blues employed across the composition. It is a calm and jewel-like work with the innocent charm of 1840s America.

Lane’s growth in sophistication over time is clearly evident in a very similar scene from the same coast eleven years later,  Rafes Chasm, 1853 (inv. 597), a relatively large oil on canvas, 34 1/4 x 48 1/4 inches. Here the drama of the sky and sea is rendered in Turner-like explosions of foam and sunlight nearly obscuring the small figure of the hunter in the foreground.

–Sam Holdsworth

Rafe's Chasm oil painting by Fitz Henry Lane
Rafes Chasm, 1853 (inv. 597)

F.H. Lane's First Complete Lithography Exhibition at the Cape Ann Museum »

Drawn from Nature & on Stone: The Lithographs of Fitz Henry Lane

OCT. 7, 2017—MARCH 4, 2018 

New Discoveries: Lane Pendants Descended in New England Family »


A pair of Lane marine paintings with a fascinating provenance has surfaced through an old New England family with maritime ties to the brothers Robert B. and John M. Forbes. The paintings (Pilot Pendant: Approaching (inv. 296) and Pilot Pendant: Departing (inv. 297)) are clearly pendants, a pair intended to be displayed together. They are quite small, 17” by 14”, and were likely inset into wall paneling, perhaps on either side of a fireplace.

Fitz Henry Lane Online Adds Image Comparison Tool »

Example of the Image Comparison Tool being used in Side-by-Side mode to compare Gloucester Harbor, 1852 (inv. 38) with the infrared image. Up to four images can be compared simultaneously.

Northshore Magazine Features Fitz Henry Lane Online »

 Announcement in NorthShore Magazine, May/June 2016.

New Discoveries: "Phantom of Boston" Donated to the Cape Ann Museum »

Phantom of Boston, c.1850s (inv. 574)
This remarkable Lane discovery has been a long time in the works. The painting was acquired by Gustav Klimann in the late 1950s from an antiques dealer in Essex, the town immediately west of Gloucester. Mr. Klimann, who died in the 1970s, was a well-known art conservator and restorer in Boston who did work for numerous collectors, galleries and museums in New England from the 1930s through the 1960s. From the first moment he saw the painting, Mr. Klimann thought it was a Lane. He had seen many Lanes, and may have restored some in the collection of his good friend Maxim Karolik, the pre-eminent collector of F.H. Lane and other nineteenth-century American artists. The Karolik collection had over a dozen Lanes and now forms the backbone of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston's American painting collection.

Museum Acquisitions: Ships in Fog on Display at the Princeton Art Museum »

Ships in Fog, Gloucester, Massachusetts, c.1860 (inv. 293)
The Princeton University Art Museum has just acquired Fitz Henry Lane’s Ships in Fog.

In 2015, the Princeton University Art Museum acquired this picture, one of Lane’s rare fog paintings. It had been in a private collection for many years and has rarely been exhibited, but is currently on display at the museum in Princeton, N.J.

Citation: "News." Fitz Henry Lane Online. Cape Ann Museum. (accessed July 26, 2021).
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