The Burning Harpoon
30 1/4 x 22 in. (76.8 x 55.9 cm)
Benton Murdoch Spruance,
Medium and Support:
Purchased with funds provided by the Art Angels
Label from American Originals: Works on Paper from the Permanent Collection, La Salle University Art Museum, December 16, 2015 through March 4, 2016:
Spruance was a Philadelphia painter and printmaker based in Germantown. He studied painting at PAFA, and in his senior year he won a scholarship which enabled him to travel to France. He taught at Beaver College (now Arcadia University) and the Philadelphia College of Art, and was known for his innovations in color lithography. This drawing was the basis for a lithograph called The Burning Harpoon, published in 1968 as part of a set of 26 fine art lithographs illustrating Herman Melville’s novel, Moby Dick: The Passion of Ahab. This set of haunting images was among the final works of Spruance, who died before the project was completed.