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Albert Pinkham Ryder
With Sloping Mast and Dipping Prow
about 1880–85
oil
12 x 12 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of John Gellatly



Samuel Taylor Coleridge's epic poem, Rime of the Ancient Mariner, a tale of salvation through forgiveness, inspired the first of Ryder's epic seascapes. The curved shape of the boat's sail begins a rhythmic pattern that continues through the upward-drifting night-sky clouds, creating a composition that slowly orbits around a glowing moon.