The Cheat Detected, ca. 1860Item 18853 info
Maine Historical Society
When English artist Elizabeth Heaphy Murray (1815-1882) arrived in Portland during the 1860s, she was recognized by John Neal as a "Portland painter."
One of the most highly respected watercolorists on either side of the Atlantic, Murray soon became involved in the local cultural scene, claining students and exhibiting work in Portland and in New York.
"The Cheat" or "The Cheat Detected" is an example of Murray's ability and reflects the changing tast among collectors. J. B. Brown owned this watercolor.
In the second half of the 19th century, interest in American landscape painting lost favor to more sophisticated European styles.
A few local artists strugged on in Portland, supported by an aging core of patrons.