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William Stanley Haseltine's Northeast Harbor, Maine

William Stanley Haseltine (1835–1900), Northeast Harbor, Maine, 1895, watercolor and Chinese white on paper, John Wilmerding Collection

This exquisite, highly finished watercolor dates from 1895, when William Stanley Haseltine spent the summer with friends in Northeast Harbor on Mount Desert. Although the island had become one of the most fashionable resorts on the East Coast, dotted with palatial "cottages" built by the Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, Morgans, and Astors, the landscape depicted here remains pristine. The Ruskinian attention to geological detail that characterized Haseltine's early work has given way to a more fluid  presentation, delicate in color and imbued with a softly filtered light. Haseltine's daughter later wrote of the change in her father's work, acknowledging his debt to French impressionism by calling him a "Pre-Monet Impressionist."  


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