The strength of a great ship portrait lies with its overall striking composition blended with an attention to detail. Charles Sidney Raleigh was extremely skilled with both elements, and this is one of his finest works. An American full-rigged ship of large proportions, LUCY G. DOW is one of many ships owned by Maine interests, where the ship would be locally built and consortium owned. More Maine captains owned part of their ships than any other East Coast region, it appears through an informal survey of lists.
Note the fine details of the captain and crew hard at work onboard off the coast. The numerous buildings are clustered on the peninsular stretch with a pier coming out near the lighthouse's walkway. At the distance, ship masts rise from a prominent harbor. All are shown with Raleigh's folk art styling and perspective, much emulating maritime master James Bard.
The Dow family has extensive roots through Massachusetts, Maine and British Columbia, Canada with many sailing vessels to their credit as builders and owners. Boston, Southport, Portland and Oromocto all were shipbuilding yard locations for members of the family. One descendant, with access to the various worldly cargoes, would go on to establish Dow Chemical Company, and continue the family's name recognition through the 21st Century. Several family members were named Lucy over the years, and one of them in specific would have been as proud as the more than a dozen other family members with ships named after them.
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