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Luce Foundation Center for American Art

Painting: 19th century: Untitled (moon over a harbor, wharf scene with full moon and masts of boats)
Untitled (moon over a harbor, wharf scene with full moon and masts of boats)


Untitled (moon over a harbor, wharf scene with full moon and masts of boats)
about 1868
Edward Mitchell Bannister
oil on fiberboard
9 5/8 x 15 1/4 in. (24.5 x 38.7 cm.)
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of H. Alan and Melvin Frank
1983.95.76
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Edward Mitchell Bannister lived his entire life by the sea and probably made this painting while he was living in Boston in the late 1860s. Although he never traveled abroad, Bannister was influenced by late nineteenth-century French landscape painting, which shows in his thick brushstrokes, subdued colors, and simple compositions. In this painting of a moonlit harbor, the misty colors and bleak landscape create a mysterious scene, as if Bannister had painted it in the middle of the night.


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