Off the Maine Coast


Samuel Colman, 1870



Samuel Colman, 1870

This romanticized coastal scene may have been partially derived from the artist’s imagination. Colman was less interested in recording a specific locale as in offering the viewer a respite from the cares of daily life. This nostalgic content is underscored by the couple’s embrace and by their clothing, a typical New World combination of Dutch and English costume dating from the late 1700s or early 1800s. The couple, although spotlighted by a wash of sunlight, remains subordinate to the transcendental void that lies beyond the hilltops. The spiritual uplift offered by the scenic vista to the figures in the painting was to be extended to its owner, probably a financier or merchant with not only the means to buy such a work but the need for a pleasant vicarious escape into nature. (“150 Years of American Painting” Exhibition, 8/15/94 – 7/15/05)

Additional information


Canvas, Paper


10" x 6.1", 14" x 8.5", 21" x 12.8", 30" x 18.4", 36" x 22"


Black, Champagne, Espresso, Natural, Print Only


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