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Marsden Hartley

Robin Hood Cove, Georgetown, Maine



Marsden Hartley (1877-1943)


Robin Hood Cove, Georgetown, Maine




Oil on cardboard


Overall: 21 3/4 × 25 7/8 in. (55.3 × 65.7 cm)

Credit line

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; 50th Anniversary Gift of Ione Walker in memory of her husband, Hudson D. Walker

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Robin Hood Cove, Georgetown, Maine pictures the rugged natural simplicity that Marsden Hartley associated with Maine, the state in which he was born and where he resettled in 1937 after fifteen years of moving between the United States and Europe. His palette is softer here than in previous work, and although the location he depicts is isolated, the scene appears tranquil—a testament, perhaps, to Hartley’s belief that his birthplace was the source of his "private strength, both spiritually and aesthetically." The bold abstraction of his early work is traded for an expressiveness of mood and emotion, represented by the deep shadows and atmospheric reflections of the New England dusk. His reduction of trees and rocks to massive, almost carved shapes projects a sense of solemn grandeur. In capturing what he perceived as the archaic severity and elemental strength of Maine, Hartley’s late landscapes convey the sense of renewal he found when he returned to his roots.

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