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Harbor of Seville

Harbor of Seville

Artist: Samuel Colman (American, 1832–1920)
Culture: American
Date: 1865
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
34 1/2 x 54 1/2 x 2 inches (87.6 x 138.4 x 5.1 cm)
Classification: Painting
Credit Line: Museum purchase
Label Text:From 1860 to 1862, Samuel Colman traveled to France, Italy, Spain, and parts of Africa, sketching the cities and countrysides he visited. He continued to paint the Spanish subjects of his drawings for several years following his journey. In Harbor of Seville, Colman depicts a non-industrialized city, with small Spanish feluccas (traditional wooden sailing boats) at dock on the banks of the Guadalquivir River. The sun is low on the horizon between two prominent architectural monuments that still stand today. On the left is the Giralda, a former mosque minaret from the 1300s, later transformed into a bell tower for the Cathedral of Seville. On the right is the Moorish Torre del Oro from the fifteenth century, a twelve-sided military watchtower with 360-degree views of the port. These two buildings are monuments to Seville's past glory as the primary port for trade with the Indies and one of the world's largest cities.

This painting illustrates a departure from Colman's previous Hudson River School style in his use of more vibrant colors and looser brushwork. The view straight into the sun results in an overall haziness that anticipates the Tonalist movement's blurred masses of color and atmospheric qualities.

Provenance: Ex-Collection: John Taylor Johnston, NY, 1867 Thomas Colville Fine Art, New Haven, CT, c. 1980 Ex-Collection: Dr. and Mrs. Cathel MacLeod, Gorham, Maine, purchased in 1981 at the Barridoff Galleries, Portland, ME (while on exhibition there).
Object number: 2002.16.1
In Collection(s)