Seascapes: John Marin

John Marin (American, 1870-1953) is known as one of the first American modernists and a major influence on Abstract Expressionism. Alfred Stieglitz recognised his importance early on, showing his work in his 291 Gallery nearly every year from 1909 until 1946. 

Marin worked primarily in watercolor, but later in his career began to work in oils as well. Marin first painted the rocky coast of Maine in 1914, and continued to interpret the subject throughout his life. Here are seven of his Maine seascapes, and one of the waters around the Brooklyn Bridge:

Cape Split 1935

Grey Ledges, Blue Breaking Sea watercolor 1937

The Sea, Maine watercolor and charcoal on paper 1921

Seascape oil on canvas 22" × 28.5" 1932

Fell Plummer's Wharf, Cape Split watercolor 14 3/4" × 20.5" 1933

The Bathers 1933

Headland, Cape Split, Maine watercolor, chalk and graphite 15 3/8" x 20 3/4" 1933

Brooklyn Bridge watercolor 1912
"Give paint a chance to show itself entirely as paint."
"Painting is like golf; the fewer strokes I take, the better the picture."

"What a life, seeing!"- John Marin
John Marin 1922 (Alfred Stieglitz, Photographer)


  1. Some the paintings seem to have tremendous depth, literally. It would be nice to know where the paintings are and, if in a public venue, to see them in person.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Evelyn. It was difficult to find good quality images of Marin's seascapes online, and the information about the collections, etc., was sketchy. The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Portland Museum of Art are two of your best bets for finding good examples of his work.

  2. I hope it is okay to say, after seeing John Marin's work, I don't have much appreciation for modernist art. However, I have a great appreciation for paintings of the gorgeous Maine coast.

    1. Carol, I like your honesty. I didn't always like Marin's work, but now I'm definitely a fan of his abstracted landscapes. I love the motion in them as well as the color and compositions.

  3. So happy you showed Marin's work. One of my fav painters after seeing some of his originals. Such life to them with outstanding compositions. A true artist.

    The Art Room is always stimulating. Thanks, Taryn.

  4. These are great and I'd never seen any of them before. I realize you posted this over a year ago, but thanks so much for sharing.


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