Martin Johnson Heade became one of the leading names of American Luminism. In addition to his scenes of the New Jersey coastline and marshes, Heade subsequently became known for the depictions of tropical landscapes with flowers and hummingbirds that he began to paint following his travels in Central and South America.
Three other depictions by Heade of the Manchester coastline from Singing Beach are known, dating between 1861 and 1863. This area became extremely popular with wealthy Boston society, which made it its summer resort. It is likely that Heade painted it on the suggestion of one of his clients. In the present canvas the composition emphasises the Eagle Head promontory that closes the composition on the left. The water is dotted with sailing boats, an island and other more distant spits of land. The pinkish clouds on the horizon are reflected in the calm sea.