Fitz Henry Lane & Mary Blood Mellen
Old Mysteries and New Discoveries
Essay: John Wilmerding
Publisher/Date: Spanierman Gallery (2007) NAP. Exhibition catalogue
Format/Condition: New oblong hardcover book in Fine condition. Lavishly illustrated in color. 112 pages, includes bibliographical references and index. 9 x 6 x 1 inches
Description: Fitz Henry Lane (1804-1865) and Mary Blood Mellen (1819-1886)
Exhibition catalogue: "Old Mysteries and New Discoveries" with a chronology. American 19th century Marine painting: seafaring, ships, shore landscapes. Gorgeous paintings.
Mary Blood Mellen was an American painter who was but one of several individuals who studied under Fitz Hugh Lane (also called Fitz Henry Lane). Mellen is remembered as one of a number of women painters tentatively associated with the Hudson River School of artists in nineteenth-century New England. Her paintings often included landscapes and maritime images. Mellen lived in Massachusetts, and many of her paintings find their source in the Massachusetts and Maine landscapes and seascapes.
As a painter and copyist, Mellen repeatedly attempted to mimic the work of her teacher and mentor Fitz Henry Lane and painted numerous, admittedly inferior works in her own right. Her paintings include a landscape of the Blood family home (presumably her childhood home), a representative seascape entitled Shipwreck on the Beach (1870s), and a painting that portrays ships at sea as well as a pastoral New England countryside entitled Field Beach (c 1850s). Like Lane and others associated with the Hudson River artists, Mellen painted in the luminist style popular in mid-nineteenth century America.