Fitz Henry Lane (American, 1804-1865) The Old Homestead, Castine, Maine
- American & European Works of Art - 2635B
- Date / Time :
- February 01, 2013 12:00PM
Fitz Henry Lane (American, 1804-1865)
The Old Homestead, Castine, Maine
Titled, inscribed, and dated ".../F. H. Lane to J. L. Stevens Jr. 1851" l.c.,
inscribed "Front view of the Old Homestead - Castine- Me/Taken by Fitz H. Lane, Gloucester - Mass -/for Joseph L. Stevens Jr./August 1851/Lettered by George F. Tilden/Architect/Milton-Boston" in pencil on the reverse.
Watercolor and ink on paper, 10 5/8 x 15 15/16 in. (26.9 x 40.5 cm), framed.
Condition: Toning, scattered fox marks, surface imperfections to u.l. corner, abrasions and tape to the reverse.
Provenance: By descent within the family of Joseph Lowe Stevens.
N.B. The gracious home shown in this watercolor was the residence of Dr. Joseph Lowe Stevens, Sr., in Castine, Maine. The watercolor was dedicated by Fitz Henry Lane to Dr. Stevens's son, Joseph Lowe Stevens, Jr. (1823-1908). The younger Stevens, who moved from Castine to Gloucester in 1840, became a close friend of Lane, most likely meeting the artist through the Gloucester Lyceum library, where both men were members. The friendship blossomed as Lane spent more time in Gloucester, especially after he moved into his stone house on the hill. (1) In 1848, Stevens invited Lane to visit his family in Castine, a trip that would mark Lane's first visit to the Maine coast. A new friendship blossomed between Lane and Dr. and Mrs. Stevens, Sr., and they enjoyed visits together in Gloucester and Castine. John Wilmerding writes that, "During subsequent visits he [Lane] would paint many pictures of the vicinity as well as small oils of the family house and views done especially for presentation to the Stevens family."(2) Lane spent a number of summers in the 1850s in Castine, staying at the "Old Homestead," as the Stevens's residence was known. From the house there was a good view down to the waterfront and the bay. Joseph Stevens, Jr., would row or sail Lane to various locations in the Penobscot Bay where Lane would sketch scenes he would later turn into oils in his Gloucester studio. In 1851 Lane sketched the Old Homestead, including two watercolors of the house for Stevens, Jr. (3) Lane later based an oil painting on the watercolor, including in the oil a view of Dr. Stevens approaching the house on horseback. (Private Collection) (4)
1. Dunlap, Sarah and Stephanie Buck, Fitz Henry Lane, Family and Friends (Gloucester: Cape Ann Historical Museum, 2007), pp.76-80.
2. Wilmerding, John, Fitz Henry Lane, the reprint of a 1971 book entitled "Fitz Hugh Lane" (Gloucester: Cape Ann Historical Association, 2005), p. 51.
3. Unpublished letter from Stevens family descendant.
The house has undergone several renovations, but still stands at 88 Main Street, on the corner of Stevens Street.
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