Cole, Charles O. (American 1804-1858) Oil on canvas, inscribed on the reverse by the artist: "Painted by C.O. Cole Portland Maine June 16, 1856".  The painting depicts a child with a blue dress and banana curls who is seated on some rocks under a tree.  In the child's left hand is an open work basket filled with shells.  There are additional shells in the foreground.  The background depicts a rocky point with a tall lighthouse.  The lighthouse is most likely Portland Head Light.  Further in the distance and sailing to the left is a three masted ship.  The sky is beautifully painted and depicts illowing clouds and a colorful horizon.  "The Shell Gatherer" is a wonderful folk art painting with strong maritime interest. (PA-397)

Note:  Charles Octavius Cole was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts in 1814.  He worked in New Orleans in 1838 and 1841, settling in Portland, Maine where he was from 1850 to at least 1856. Condition of painting:  Refer to document folder for condition report. Condition of frame:  The painting has a contemporary mahogany frame with gilt stars in each corner.  The liner is original to the painting, but has been recently regilded.

Dimensions of painting:  48 x 39. Dimensions of frame: 59 x 49