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Boat on Sea

n.d. Edward Mitchell Bannister Born: St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada 1828 Died: Providence, Rhode Island 1901 oil on canvas 5 1/8 x 8 in. (12.9 x 20.4 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of J. Wesley Johnson 1983.95.89 Not currently on view

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The sea was a favorite subject for Edward Mitchell Bannister, who had worked as a cook on a trading ship. In this peaceful view of Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay, a popular subject for nineteenth-century American artists, he focused attention on the brilliant coastal light. Bannister was a deeply religious man who shared with many Americans of his time a belief that nature was an expression of God’s presence. In this scene the radiant light illuminates the bay to suggest a divine blessing. (Narratives of African American Art and Identity: The David C. Driskell Collection, 1998)


Landscape - time - sunset

Landscape - water

Landscape - weather - cloud

Waterscape - boat


paint - oil

fabric - canvas