Fitz Henry Lane, 1804-1865
Castine Harbor and Town, 1851
Oil on canvas, 50.8 x 84.5 cm (20 x 33-1/4 in.)
Although known for his view of the harbors of Boston and Gloucester, Fitz Henry Lane was equally inspired by the Maine landscape. It became the subject of much of his most memorable and intensely poetic studio work from the 1850s until his death. His home base for many of his visits was the town of Castine, visible in the distance, across the harbor. One of the greatest of American marine painters, Lane imposed a sense of stillness and artificiality over the landscape and positions the ships in the harbor as if laying them out on a measured grid. Enlivening the quiet town and harbor is the almost theatrical expanse of sky, which contains a variety of clouds types and a range of light effects.
Witherle Memorial Library, Castine, Maine, ca. 1915
Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York, 1978 
Acquired by the Putnam Foundation, 1986
 The painting was at one point catalogued as a moonlight scene (Salem, Mass., Essex Institute, 1964, Fitz Hugh Lane, 1804–1865: American Marine Painter, cat. by John Wilmerding [reprint, Gloucester, Mass., 1967], p. 58. no. 52).