Oohh… Sail steamers, Mama like.
A Set of Four Dioramas of Historic Ships
Hand Carved and Painted Wood by Joaquim Maristany;
20th century; 15 x 30 x 1-3/4 inches (38.1 x 7.6 x 4.4 cm)
Born in Barcelona and educated as a mechanical engineer by the Universidad Politecnica of Barcelona, he has been building models professionally since 1979. Mr. Maristany takes pleasure in faithfully reproducing unique historic shadowboxes in the style of late 19th century European and American marine artists. His work can be found in the Barcelona Maritime Museum and in numerous Spanish national historical societies and private organizations. Since the 1980’s his work has been exhibited in France, Italy, Britain, Bermuda and the United States. Mr. Maristany lives in Maine. +
Peter Layne Arguimbau (American, b. 1951) Amistad & Juna Sebastian De El Cano;
Tall Ships Parade 2000 with the Twin Towers
Arms was born in Washington, DC in 1887; studied law at Princeton University, transferred to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston to study architecture, and graduated in 1912. After serving as an officer in the United States Navy during World War I, he devoted himself full-time to art. He published his first series of original etchings in 1919, having used sewing needles and magnifying glasses to get a fine level of detail. wikipedia
McClelland Barclay was an American painter of pin-up art. By the age of 21, Barclay’s work had been published in The Saturday Evening Post, Ladies’ Home Journal, and Cosmopolitan. He later became a Lieutenant in the Naval Reserve in 1938.
During World War I, he designed naval camouflage under the direction of William Mackay, Chief of the New York District Emergency Fleet Corporation. During the 1930s, he began painting movie poster art for major Hollywood studios, and was considered a superstar in the film industry during the late 1930s. Barclay was one of the first artists to paint World War II pin-up girl, Betty Grable.
On October 19, 1940, Barclay reported again to the Navy. He served in the New York Recruiting office, illustrating posters for the next two and a half years. His images would go on to become some of the most recognizable images of World War II. Determined to be a front-line combat artist, he signed on for active duty and served in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters on the USS Arkansas (BB33), USS Pennsylvania (BB38), USS Honolulu (CL48), and the USS Maryland (BB46).
By then a Lt. Commander, Barclay worked on further camouflage assignments until July 18, 1943, when he was reported missing. The tank landing ship USS LST 342 he was aboard was torpedoed in the Solomon Islands. Barclay was on board, sketching and taking photographs.
Ritchie Allen Benson (American, 1941-1996) Ship in a Harbor Watercolor on paper
Bensen grew up in the Los Angeles area during the World War II era. By the late 1950s, he was studying watercolor painting and by the 1960s was exhibiting on a national level. He spent a great deal of time painting along the California coast and was most interested in producing works which pictured boats and harbor scenes. + — more works
more works by Louis Bentabole
Johann Henrik Carl Berthelsen was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, and decided to move to New York City to further his career (at the time, as an opera singer) in 1920. +
His singing career went belly up during the Great Depression, so he turned to painting. Cuz we all know that’s the road to financial security… Long story short, New Deal Arts Projects, yaddayadda, Connecticut, suburbia, American Dream, hobnobbing with celebrities, (finger down throat) hit by a car in 1971… The End.
The Vincennes and Porpoise depicts two of the major ships from the United States Exploring Expedition of 1838-42, which traversed the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans in search of commercial opportunities, new territories, and geological and botanical specimens for scientific study. The expedition was of major importance to the growth of science in the United States, in particular the then-young field of oceanography. Many of the species and other items found by the expedition helped form the basis of collections at the newly established Smithsonian Institution. MORE
Here, Blossom captures the dramatic moment leading up to Captain Charles Wilkes’s discovery of Antarctica, as the flagship Vincennes, a 780-ton war sloop, and the Porpoise, a 230-ton brig, first encounter massive icebergs.
A native of Norwalk, Connecticut, Blossom spent his teen years crewing boats from Connecticut to Maine and studying marine painting in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. His early commercial training at New York’s Parsons School of Design and the Industrial Design Studio of Robert Bourke influenced his appreciation of ship design, and in the 1970s he became a charter member of the American Society of Marine Artists. +
Sir Muirhead Bone (23 March 1876 – 21 October 1953) was a Scottish etcher, drypoint and watercolour artist who became known for his depiction of industrial and architectural subjects and his work as a war artist in both the First and Second World Wars. Born in Glasgow, Bone qualified first as an architect, before turning to printmaking at the Glasgow School of Art.
During the First World War, the head of the British War Propaganda Bureau appointed Bone as the first official British war artist in May 1916. Where some artists might have demurred at the challenge of drawing ocean liners in a drydock or tens of thousands of shells in a munitions factory, Bone delighted in them. Commissioned as an honorary second lieutenant, Bone served as a war artist with the Allied forces on the Western Front and also with the Royal Navy. MORE
Bradford was an American romanticist painter, photographer and explorer, originally from Fairhaven, Massachusetts, who’s work focused on portraits of the many ships in New Bedford Harbor. He is also known for his paintings of ships and Arctic seascapes, and having been on several Arctic expeditions with Dr. Isaac Israel Hayes. He was the first American painter to portray the frozen regions of the north.
He was associated with the Hudson River School, not an institution but rather an informal group of like-minded painters. He adopted their techniques and became highly interested in the way light touches water and how it affects the appearance of water surfaces and the general atmospherics of a painting. wikipedia
The great American gold rush struck in 1849, creating a frenzy of travel to California for those who had caught the gold fever.
As a result, ships of all sorts were utilized for the transport of passengers to the west, including old whale boats such as this one.
When first launched; Wilson G. Hunt connected Coney Island; Shreveburg; and Red Bank in New York. This view shows the future California River Steamer shortly after it’s launching in 1849 while still operating on the Hudson River. Shortly after her completion; she was sent around the Horn to San Francisco; arriving there in early 1850.
She was immediately placed in the Sacramento River trade and became a ‘bonanza steamer’ carrying speculators to the gold fields. She went on to make a fortune for her owners; clearing over $1 million in her first year.
In October 1858 she was withdrawn, the following year she replaced the steamer Constitution on Puget Sound. Early in the 1860’s she was bought by the Oregon Steam Navigation Company and taken to the Columbia River where she operated on the Cascade Route. She ran on the Columbia until 1869; carrying from 250 to 300 passengers; 100 head of stock and a substantial amount of freight on a single trip.
The steamer was rebuilt in 1865 and in 1869 returned to Puget Sound. She continued to be used on various runs until 1890 when she was broken up and sold for her iron scrap.
Wilson G. Hunt is noted as ‘one of the most notable vessel’s who ever turned a wheel in Northwestern waters‘. Descriptions note her white enameled cabins with elaborate gold leaf trim and stained glass windows.
James Edward Buttersworth (1817–1894) was an English painter who specialized in maritime art, and is considered among the foremost American ship portraitists of the nineteenth century.
Salvatore Colacicco is a marine artist who was born in 1935 in Bellagio, near Lake Como, and has been living in England for over thirty years. Nearly all Salvatore’s paintings have been exported to the United States. They now adorn the walls of many a board room and director’s office.
Colacicco’s traditional style of painting is influenced by the Marine artists of the 18th and 19th century. Among Colacicco’s achievements are 26 panels illustrating the history and development of the paddle steamer, painted for the Russell Cotes Museum in Bournemouth. (see one here – and another) He has painted Schooners, Steamers, Yachts, Lake Como, Malta, British coastal scenes and Historical Man-O- War Marine Engagements. This painting from 1990 depicts the British Red Fleet* resting in Valletta Harbor, Malta. +
*Red Fleet: In Elizabethan times the fleet grew large enough to be organized into squadrons. The squadron’s admiral wore a red ensign, the vice admirals white, and the rear admirals blue. As the squadrons grew, each was eventually commanded by an admiral (with vice admirals and rear admirals commanding sections) and the official ranks became admiral of the white, etc.
The organisation of the fleet into coloured squadrons was finally abandoned in 1864. The Red Ensign was allocated to the Merchant Navy, the White Ensign became the flag of the Royal Navy, and the Blue Ensign was allocated to the naval reserve and naval auxiliary vessels. Royal Navy
Montague Dawson RMSA, FRSA, was a British painter and renowned maritime artist. His most famous paintings depict sailing ships, usually clippers or warships of the 18th and 19th centuries.
Dawson was the son of a keen yachtsman and the grandson of the marine painter Henry Dawson (1811–1878), born in Chiswick, London. Much of his childhood was spent on Southampton Water where he was able to indulge his interest in the study of ships. At the outbreak of the First World War he joined the Royal Navy. After the War, Dawson established himself as a professional marine artist, concentrating on historical subjects and portraits of deep-water sailing ships in stiff breeze on high seas. Many of his works are featured in the Royal Naval Museum and the National Maritime Museum. MORE
Eastlake was born in Plymouth, Devon, the fourth son of an Admiralty lawyer. His first notable success in 1815 was a painting Napoleon on Board the Bellerophon in Plymouth Sound. Like many other people at the time, Eastlake had hired a boat to take him to the ship on which Napoleon was held captive in the harbour, then sketched him from the boat. wikipedia
Born in Spain, arrived in America 1914. Espoy worked in the merchant marine, which gave him a strong visual reference for the clipper ships he would later paint.
Post-war illustrator known for his pretty girls. more works
Collisions in foggy conditions were commonplace on the Atlantic fishing grounds as commercial traffic expanded in the early 20th century. In particular; sail powered fishing schooners were vulnerable to the swift steamships that rarely slowed in low visibility. Gleason captures this theme in “The Quick and the Dead” as a fast moving ocean liner disappears into the fog after narrowly missing a fishing schooner. +
Bernard F. Gribble (British 1872 – 1962) Rescue of the crew of the
Daunt Lightship by the Ballycotton lifeboat Mary Stanford
Bernard Finegan Gribble was a prolific British marine artist and illustrator, best known as a painter of historical (and often romanticised) maritime scenes. In his preparatory sketches of ships, Gribble made notes on the precise structure and names of sails, masts, and rigging. He had studied the movement of water closely, and made highly technical analyses of the construction of rigging and sails to a level where it naturally informed his naval subjects. He also paid close attention to the detail of historical costume.
His paintings were widely sought after; Franklin D. Roosevelt was one of many celebrity owners of Gribble paintings. He purchased a painting showing the arrival of American destroyers at Queenstown in Ireland, during World War I. It hung in the Oval Office of the White House when Roosevelt became United States President in 1933. Roosevelt also purchased “Surrender of the German Fleet to the Grand Fleet at Scapa Flow”. Gribble had been one of the few civilian witnesses to this event in 1918; in his capacity as Official Maritime Painter to the Shipwrights’ Company.
Gribble was in demand as an illustrator, and his work appeared in many leading magazines, including ‘”The Illustrated London News and ‘”The Graphic. He illustrated numerous books, his work appearing even on royal postcards and chocolate boxes. After his death in 1962, his widow donated many of his works to Poole Museum, which now possesses the world’s largest collection of his work.
Emile Albert Gruppé was an American painter born in Rochester, New York. His early years were spent in the Netherlands where his father Charles Gruppe painted with the Hague school of art and acted as a dealer for the Dutch painters in the US. The family returned permanently to the states around 1913 when rumblings of World War I began to brew. He spent a year in the United States Navy and made his permanent studio in Gloucester, Massachusetts. wikipedia
Sydney Laurence (American, 1865-1940). Whaling Ship in Alaska Watercolor, tempera and gouache on paper
Sydney Mortimer Laurence was an American Romantic landscape painter and is widely considered one of Alaska’s most important historical artists. Born in Brooklyn, New York, and was exhibiting regularly by the late 1880s, then abandoned his family and traveled to Alaska in 1903 or 1904.
Living the hard life of the pioneer prospector, he painted little in his first years in the then-District of Alaska, but between 1911 and 1914 he began to focus once again on his art. He moved from Valdez to the nascent town of Anchorage in 1915 and by 1920 was Alaska’s most prominent painter.
Laurence painted a variety of Alaskan scenes in his long and prolific career, among them sailing ships and steamships in Alaskan waters, totem poles in Southeast Alaska, dramatic headlands and the quiet coves and streams of Cook Inlet, cabins and huts under the northern lights, and Alaskan Natives, miners, and trappers engaged in their often solitary lives in the northern wilderness. more
illustration from “Those Tales are True” by Frank H. Mason – Mason, who was born in Seaton Carew, Co. Durham on 1 October 1875, did not have any formal art training, receiving just a basic school education before spending two years from the age of 12 on the naval training ship HMS Conway.
The initial idea of a life at sea gave way to a fascination with engineering and his interest in sketching became a passion. He received some guidance from local Scarborough artists and after successfully selling some of his work, Mason decided to give up engineering and become a full time painter.
Shortly after war was declared in 1914 Mason was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the RNVR. His initial assignment involved patrolling the North Sea and English Channel followed by a posting to the Mediterranean and Suez Canal zone. Many of the sketches he made whilst on active service were subsequently made up into finished works that were purchased by the Imperial War Museum.
The shipping companies were also enjoying a golden period after the First World War and Mason received quite a few commissions from Cunard and others. This work varied from small designs for postcards, various forms of advertising material including menu cards, posters and larger works in both oil and watercolour.
Mason soon came to the attention of tobacco manufacturer John Player & Sons, and in 1938 he was commissioned to prepare artwork for a series of 25 large cards titled “Sea Tramps and Traders”. Shortly afterwards, Player’s put Mason to work on another series, this time for a series of 50 standard sized cards, with the title of “Modern Naval Craft”.
Shortly after the outbreak of war the Government produced recruitment posters for the three armed services and Mason was selected to prepare the Royal Navy design. This showed a capital ship steaming through heavy seas with the caption, “The British Navy guards the freedom of us all”.
The Navy magazine also used Mason’s work both during and after the war and some of these illustrations appeared on postcards. Mason also worked with a team of artists designing camouflage for ships. The last book to be illustrated by Mason was the 1958 publication The Romance of the Clipper Ships by Basil Lubbock. MORE
The German supply ship Titania, used by the Imperial German Navy to supply her battleships abroad, was scuttled to prevent capture by the enemy. wrecksite
George Mears was a painter of ship portraits during the late 19th century; specializing in steam and sail ships. His seascapes are well handled, but the true importance of these paintings lies in the accurate portrayal of the ships details. His immense talent enabled him to secure employment as the official ships portrait painter to the then major cross-channel shipper, The Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company; painting all the company’s cross-channel ships during his employ.
During his lifetime, Mears received many private commissions including the Royal Yachts Victoria & Albert I & II. +
Edward Moran (Bolton, Lancashire, England, 1829 – 1901, New York City) was an American artist of maritime paintings. He is arguably most famous for his series of 13 historical paintings of United States marine history (read here).
His family first emigrated to Maryland in 1844, and then to Philadelphia a year later. In the 1850s Moran began to make a name for himself in the Philadelphia artistic scene; working in the same studio as his younger brother, famous American painter Thomas Moran (see below). At the time of his death, Moran was widely considered to be one of the most important 19th century marine painters. More works by Edward Moran.
A talented illustrator and exquisite colorist, Thomas Moran was hired as an illustrator at Scribner’s Monthly. During the late 1860s, he was appointed the chief illustrator for the magazine, a position that helped him launch his career as one of the premier painters of the American landscape. Although he mastered multiple printing media including wood-engraving, etching, and lithography, which he learned from his brothers, he received renown for his paintings in oil and in watercolor. He died in Santa Barbara, California on August 26, 1926. more on wikipedia
Willy Pogany (Hungarian/American, 1882-1955)
left: Rime of the Ancient Mariner (book illustration) – rt: Gone With The Wind pin-up
William Andrew (“Willy”) Pogany (born Vilmos Andreas Pogány) was a prolific Hungarian book illustrator, mostly children’s literature. He spent his early twenties attending art school and would later travel to Munich, Paris, and London before coming to the United States in 1914. Besides book illustration, pictures, mural paintings, portraits, etchings, and sculptures, Pogany became interested in theatre and designed stage settings and costumes for different shows and the Metropolitan Opera House. One of his masterpieces is a fully illustrated Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1910). He died in New York City on July 30, 1955. more
Rembrandt was a Dutch painter and etcher. He is generally considered one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art and certainly the most significant in Dutch history. full bio on wikipedia
This painting is still missing after the robbery from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990. Storm on the Sea of Galilee, along with several other pieces by Rembrandt, was cut from its frame by thieves. It is Rembrandt’s only known seascape.
Warren Sheppard built two successful careers around his love of the sea: marine painting and yacht designing and racing. He was born in Greenwich, New Jersey, a town on the Delaware River below Philadelphia, which has been associated with ships and shipping since the earliest Colonial times. His father was a sea captain who took him on many voyages during which he made sketches of ships and the sea. In 1879, he spent four months sketching Mediterranean port cities including Gibraltar, Genoa, Naples, and Messina in Sicily. Between 1888 and 1893, he also studied painting in Venice and Paris. By his mid-thirties, Sheppard had established himself as a successful illustrator and painter. The yachts he painted were the most lavish of his day and eagerly collected.
Twice he commanded the Tamerlane when it won the New York-to-Bermuda run. His authoritative 1920 book, Practical Navigation, was used for many years by the United States Naval Academy. Though he retired from the sea, Sheppard continued to paint until his death in Brooklyn, New York, in 1937. More works
Dwight Shepler (American; 1905-1974) US Navy poster from the Navy Art Collection
San Fabian Attack Force by Dwight Shepler, USNR, Luzon, January 1945
Born in Everett, Massachusetts, received a commission from the US Navy’s officer-artist program and was soon sent into the South Pacific in 1942. In 1943 he went to Londonderry, Northern Ireland (October 1943) and England and took part in the 1944 Normandy invasion as an artist. Died September 2, 1974 in Weston, Massachusetts. wikipedia
Smith was a Philadelphia-born American marine painter best known for his illustrations of the American Civil War. He served in the United States Navy during the American Civil War, helping to maintain the blockade of Charleston, South Carolina. He saw little action, and sketched hundreds of ships in a variety of media, including pencil and oil paint, both for official purposes and for his own pleasure. more works and full bio on wikipedia
Growing up in Portland, Maine, Franklin Stanwood learned much at his sea captain father’s side. He served as a mariner on several voyages to Europe, the west Indies and around Cape Horn. By 1877, he had established himself with local patrons, enough to quit the sea and paint full-time, from a studio he started in Portland. On commission, he painted portraits of homes and people, but his marine paintings brought the greatest acclaim, and were known for their technical accuracy of rigging and the effects of weather. bio and works
note Blackball ship
John Stobart (born 1929) is a British maritime artist best known for his paintings of American harbour scenes during the Golden Age of Sail.
The N.B. Palmer (named after explorer, sailing captain, and ship designer Nathaniel Palmer) was a clipper ship owned by A.A. Low & Brother which was active in the China trade. In 1858–1859 the N.B. Palmer, with her 28-year-old Captain Hingham tied the record of 82 days for the Shanghai to New York run. A full-rigged model of the N.B. Palmer was exhibited at The Crystal Palace, London, in 1851, and attracted much attention as a fine example of the American clipper ship. more history
Julia Agrippina, most commonly referred to as Agrippina Minor or Agrippina the Younger, was a Roman Empress and one of the more prominent women in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. She was a great-granddaughter of the Emperor Augustus, sister of the Emperor Caligula, and mother of the Emperor Nero. +
Nero and his mother regularly went at it hammer and tongs. Nero grew weary of her continued overbearing presence and constant power struggles, so he embarked upon a plan to be rid of her by means of a poorly constructed boat, which, after being rammed by a paid-off lackey in another boat, would sink, and the whole thing would look like an unfortunate accident. Things didn’t go according to plan, however.