John Wilmerding Collection previous next

Lane's Brace's Rock

Fitz Henry Lane (1804-1865), Brace's Rock, Eastern Point, Gloucester, c. 1864, oil on canvas, John Wilmerding Collection

Lane's last dated works were several small oils of Brace's Rock, which is situated at the end of a ledge that forms one side of Brace's Cove. The name is believed to have come from the Middle English word for arm; now obsolete, it meant in nautical terms an arm of the sea, or cove. The cove was frequently mistaken for the entrance to Gloucester's harbor, which actually lies a mile further on, and shipwrecks there were common. Painted when the artist was in failing health and the nation was embroiled in the Civil War, this quiet and still image of an abandoned boat on a lonely stretch of rocky coast attains a poignancy that is unsurpassed in Lane's work.

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