Fitz Henry Lane was born on December 19, 1804, in Gloucester, Massachusetts. He is also known as Fitz Hugh Lane. As an artist, he had no formal training but early learned printmaking as he worked for Pendleton’s Lithography shop in Boston doing naval architecture drafts and topographical views of Boston and its harbor. After establishing himself as a printmaker and painter in Boston, Fitz Henry Lane returned to Gloucester in 1847 to concentrate on painting. He built a home and studio there by the sea.
It was in his studio that Fitz Henry Lane created works in oil based on his on-site drawings. He relied on the pencil sketches to remember what he had seen, but once in the studio he transformed the drawings into paintings that juxtaposed the mundane and the transcendent. As one of a select group of American marine painters who grew up by the sea, he was uniquely able to show the bustling life of a port. Perhaps most characteristic element of Lane’s paintings is the incredible amount of attention paid to detail—probably due in part to his lithographic training, as the specific style of lithography that was popular at the time of his training was characterized by the goal of verisimilitude.