Delbert Dana Coombs was born in Lisbon Falls, Maine, on July 26, 1850. Although primarily self-taught, Coombs took painting lessons from Scott Leighton, an animal painter, and studied landscape painting with Harrison Bird Brown.
Coombs painted actively for over fifty years. His subjects included portraits, landscapes, and cattle. He painted in the White Mountains of New Hampshire on many occasions, particularly favoring the Jackson area. A typical example of his work is Mount Washington from Jackson, New Hampshire
Coombs maintained a studio in Boston for several winters, but his major work was pursued in Maine. He also taught painting in Lisbon, Maine, for twenty-five years.
Coombs' work has been preserved in Maine at the Capitol, the Poland Spring Art Gallery, and at Bates College, as well as in Connecticut at Yale.