Feb 20, 2020
Feb 20, 2020

West Point, near Small Point, Maine -- Spring

West Point, near Small Point, Maine -- Spring


John Marin

(American, 1870–1953)

Watercolor with traces of graphite on thick, rough-textured wove paper

Image and Sheet: 41.3 x 36 cm (16 1/4 x 14 3/16 in.)

Nancy F. and Joseph P. Keithley Collection Gift 2020.136


Did you know?

John Marin returned repeatedly to the site in Maine where he made this watercolor, each time portraying through color, paint handling, perspective, and movement his spontaneous experience of the place.


One of America’s most important watercolorists, John Marin repeatedly challenged accepted ideas about what the medium could do, taking an improvisational approach to color, paint handling, perspective, and movement. This watercolor was made during Marin’s first summer in Maine, 1914, a place that would become central to his watercolor practice for years to come. Marin often returned to the same spot repeatedly, making watercolors each time in response to the light and weather of the moment. West Point near Small Point Maine, Spring is one of three watercolors in the CMA's collection made at the same spot (see 2020.138 and 2020.139). This watercolor shows Marin's responsiveness to the season and vegetation of spring expressed through color and other hallmarks of his style, chiefly his great variety of marks, from bold dashes to transparent washes.

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