Mary Blood Mellen was the adept student and friend of the painter Fitz Henry Lane (1804–1865). After moving to Gloucester, Massachusetts with her husband, Universalist minister Charles W. Mellen, in the 1840s, Mary Blood Mellen worked with Lane in his studio in the 1850s. She practiced her skill by copying Lane’s compositions and contributing as a studio assistant to many of his canvases. Recently, it has been discovered that their artistic collaborations were even more extensive than previously understood, resulting in an increase in the number of paintings identified as Mellen’s work. In Gloucester Harbor, also referred to as Laying Nets, Mellen utilized precise brushstrokes to capture natural atmospheric lighting effects, depicting the calm reflection off the water while the sun rises across the Harbor.
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