Mount Desert Island is the largest and most fully realized sheet from an important series of drawings by Haseltine created during a pivotal moment in his early career. The last dated drawing executed on the final day of Haseltine’s two-week stay on Mount Desert Island on the coast of Maine, Mount Desert Island is the largest of two studies for the monumental painting Frenchman’s Bay and View of Porcupine Islands(1860–1861), one of the few oils to result from the artist’s first trip to Maine.
Haseltine’s academic training in Germany reinforced his strong, meticulous, and clean drawing style, and drawing remained an important part of his practice throughout his career. Haseltine’s focus on realism in his landscape drawings was in keeping with trends of his time: an interest in physical and environmental science (particularly in geology), and a preference for accurate recordings of the quality of light and striking land formations (particularly those of the coast).
Graphite, ink, and wash on heavyweight warm white wove paper
Purchased with the Kathleen Compton Sherrerd, class of 1954, Acquisition Fund for American Art in memory of Kathy and Jay Sherrerd
ID Number: SC 2008:22