Eustis Estate

Land and Sea Intro

The studio of an unidentified artist, Photograph taken Mary Harrod Northend (1850–1926), undated.

Artists have celebrated New England’s scenery for more than 200 years. In lush summer or frigid winter, they have depicted iconic scenes of majestic wilderness and well-organized farms, ordinary meadows and marshes, and towns large and small. Equally alluring has been New Englanders’ close relationship with the sea. With so much wealth derived from shipping and fishing, artists’ interest was inevitable.

Looming in the backstories of many paintings are the harsh realities of industrialization and urban expansion, which painters generally avoided depicting. And yet while evading those issues, in some ways these paintings underscore them. Celebrating and preserving New England’s natural beauty is of urgent concern today, a fact that makes these glimpses of the region in the past particularly meaningful.