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Boats at Rest

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.


c. 1895


Arthur Wesley Dow
American, 1857–1922

About this artwork

In 1891 Arthur Wesley Dow began to engage seriously with the formal elements of Japanese art in his prints and oil paintings. In works such as Boats at Rest, he depicted locales around his native Ipswich, Massachusetts, using the radical cropping, elevated perspective, and flattened pictorial space characteristic of ukiyo-e (Japanese woodblock) prints. His palette of bold colors, however, is more akin to the work of French Post-Impressionist artists such as Émile Bernard and Paul Gauguin. Dow’s Japanese-inspired theories of composition, which he outlined both in his publications and in the classes he taught at the Ipswich Summer School of Art and the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, were immensely influential to artists and designers working in both two and three dimensions.


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Arts of the Americas


Arthur Wesley Dow


Boats at Rest


Ipswich (Place depicted)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

c. 1895


Oil on canvas


Signed, lower left: "Arthur W. Dow"


66 × 91.4 cm (26 × 36 in.)

Credit Line

Through prior acquisition of the Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Collection

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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