Castine Harbor and Town
Castine Harbor and Town 1851
Oil on canvas
20 x 33 1/4 in
Lane was so inspired by the Maine landscape that 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, which is visible in the distant of this view, across the harbor.
The artist imposes 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. The perfect orb of the sun, turned pink by veils of low-lying fog, serves as the painting's focal point.