A spectacular period view of an American East Coast lighthouse at the important southern point of entry to Greater New York Harbor, the coastwise scene is full of earthly charm. Of large scale, the tapered identifiable light is the oldest working lighthouse in the country. It was established in 1764 and paid for partially by a State Lottery, one of the first with civic mindedness behind it, and supplemented by a tax on ships entering New York. It has survived the elements, British occupation in the Revolutionary War, state battles of ownership, and several external remodels over the centuries. The famous Sandy Hook Lightship, eight miles east, complements its service.
Moran spent most of his professional days along New York's harbor, and he painted scenes which go beyond other period marine artists. The Old Worldly charm of the living situation of the keeper's family is desirable, with the woman gathering eggs in a basket. The man trudges up a slight stair ramp to return from the sea, and smoke fluffs from the primary residence. Keeper C.W. Patterson's employment contract in 1861 allowed for the keeping of two cows, swine and fowl at the state owned sight, actually on New Jersey soil. This is in contrast to the painting's longtime owners, the business and socially important Belmont Family of New York The accomplished atmosphere by the artist, with the full clouds and levels of light and shadow show what a fully developed artisan Moran was, and why his work is actively sought. He has artistically licensed to smooth the sides of the octangonal lighthouse.
nce: August Belmont, “The King of Fifth Avenue” and Horse Racing Fame;
by Descent Through the Belmont Family of Newport, Rhode Island
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