Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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Down East
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Charles Codman


Down East

Creation Date


Medium & Support

oil on canvas


24 1/8 in. x 35 1/4 in. (61.28 cm x 89.54 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Marshall P. Slade

Accession Number



Public Domain

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Having moved to Portland from Boston in 1822, Charles Codman began his artistic career painting signs, banners, and clock decorations, among other items. Bolstered by support from critic John Neal, Codman became known as one of the earliest landscape painters in Maine. Down East epitomizes his interest in representing the settlement of the Maine frontier. Two figures in the foreground stand before oxen and a wagon that will carry to market stacks of lumber from the nearby mill. Codman’s works were exhibited during this period in Boston and New York, though he struggled to support himself exclusively through his art. In 1838, he exhibited thirty-six paintings at the Maine Charitable Mechanics Association in Portland, where he was awarded the top prize for painting.

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