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The Aegean Sea

Artist:
Frederic Edwin Church (American, Hartford, Connecticut 1826–1900 New York)
Date:
ca. 1877
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
54 x 63 1/4 in. (137.2 x 160.7 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Bequest of Mrs. William H. Osborn, 1902
Accession Number:
02.23
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 760
Church toured the Near East and Europe in 1867–69. "The Aegean Sea," his final large-scale picture, is a “composite” landscape, based on sketches and photographs the artist had made in disparate locations: on the left are elements of the carved-rock city of Petra, in present-day Jordan; on the right, ancient Roman columns seen in Syria; and in the distance, a mosque suggesting Constantinople and classical ruins evoking the Acropolis in Athens. A double rainbow provides brilliant illumination for the idealized scene. These Old World sites, hallowed by history and the Bible, helped to confirm Church’s beliefs at a time when new scientific discoveries challenged his faith.
Signature: [at lower left]: F.E. CHURCH
William Henry Osborn, New York (1878–d. 1894); his wife, Mrs. William H. Osborn, New York (1894–d. 1902)
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