14 Classic Works of Art, Marine Paintings – With Footnotes, #23

Frederick Tudgay, John Tudgay

Battle of Heligoland, c. 1864

Oil on canvas

35-1/2 x 58-3/4 in. (90.1 x 149.2 cm.)

Private Collection

The Battle of Heligoland (or Helgoland) was fought on 9 May 1864, during the Second War of Schleswig between the navy of Denmark and the navy of Austria. The latter’s ally, Prussia, sent support vessels but they played no part due to their arrival after the battle, which took place south of the then-British North Sea island of Heligoland where the previous 1849 sea battle had occurred.

When the Danish forces had caused the flagship of the Austrian commander, Freiherr von Tegetthoff, to catch fire, he withdrew his squadron to neutral waters around Heligoland. It was the last significant naval battle fought by squadrons of wooden ships and also the last one involving Denmark.

Although the battle ended with a tactical victory for Denmark (although the Austrians say it was a draw), it had no impact on the outcome of the war. A general armistice came into effect on 12 May, and Denmark had lost the war. More The Battle of Heligoland 

John Tudgay (fl.1836-1865) The prestigious tudgay family of marine artists produced an impressive body of ship portraiture, working often in collaboration with one and another while taking singular commissions as well. Frederick is known to have been the youngest, born in 1841. Their common talent for portraying detail and draftsman-like technique drew the attention of the English maritime community and many Americans who arrived in her ports.


Frederick Tudgay, John Tudgay

Battle of Heligoland, c. 1864

Detail

Frederick Tudgay worked as a painter of ship interiors for the Green shipyard in Blackwall, giving him access to study first hand ship design and construction techniques. Besides his noted accuracy, his works are appealing for the strong artistic merit seen in his treatment of sea, sky and background elements.

Working in London during the last half of the 19th century, the Tudgays painted almost exclusively on direct commission from owners and captains, producing accurate ship portraits known for their fidelity to vessel design. Today, their works are considered important examples of British marine painting, enthusiastically sought after by knowledgeable collectors the world over. More the Tudgays

Josef Carl Püttner, (1821–1881)

The sea battle at Helgoland, c.  1864 

(the burning Austrian frigate Schwarzenberg, behind the frigate Radetzky)

Oil on cardboard

38.5 x 26.5 cm

Private Collection

Josef Carl Berthold Püttner (born July 26, 1821 in plan, Bohemia; † July 29, 1881 in Vienna) was a German-Austrian landscape and marine painter.

Püttner worked in Vienna, from 1869 in Bad Vöslau. In the years 1846-47 he went on study trips to Rome and the Netherlands. A stay in Iceland is also demonstrated as Another mission in the years 1852 and 1853 to North and South America, among others aboard sailing ships of the German shipping JC Godeffroy & Sohn, which he was granted free passage .The artist turned of mainly marine painting and turned off the 1842 regular on the exhibitions of the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. Since 1861 Püttner was a member of the Vienna Künstlerhaus. More Josef Carl Berthold Püttner

Montague Dawson RMSA, FRSA (1890–1973) 

Up Channel – The Red Jacket

Oil on canvas

22 x 30 in. (55.8 x 76.2 cm.)

Private Collection

Red Jacket was a clipper ship, one of the largest and fastest ever built. She was also the first ship of the White Star Line company. She was named after Sagoyewatha, a famous Seneca Indian chief, called “Red Jacket” by settlers. She was designed by Samuel Hartt Pook, built by George Thomas in Rockland, Maine, and launched in 1853, the last ship to be launched from this yard.

Like many other fast clippers it is claimed that she is an extreme clipper, but this is technically incorrect. Extreme clippers were some of the clippers built in the period 1850 to 1852 only, and had at least a 40″ dead rise at half floor. Being known as an extreme clipper was to be known as fast, and it became popular to call all fast clippers “extreme”. More Red Jacket 

Montague Dawson RMSA, FRSA (1890–1973) was a British painter who was renowned as a maritime artist. His most famous paintings depict sailing ships, usually clippers or warships of the 18th and 19th centuries. Montague 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. For a brief period around 1910 Dawson worked for a commercial art studio in Bedford Row, London, but with the outbreak of the First World War he joined the Royal Navy. Whilst serving with the Navy in Falmouth he met Charles Napier Hemy (1841–1917), who considerably influenced his work. In 1924 Dawson was the official artist for an Expedition to the South Seas by the steam yacht St.George. During the expedition he provided illustrated reports to the Graphic magazine.

After the War, Dawson established himself as a professional marine artist, concentrating on historical subjects and portraits of deep-water sailing ships. During the Second World War, he was employed as a war artist. Dawson exhibited regularly at the Royal Society of Marine Artists, of which he became a member, from 1946 to 1964, and occasionally at the Royal Academy between 1917 and 1936. By the 1930s he was considered one of the greatest living marine artists, whose patrons included two American Presidents, Dwight D Eisenhower and Lyndon B Johnson, as well as the British Royal Family. Also in the 1930s, he moved to Milford-Upon-Sea in Hampshire, living there for many years. Dawson is noted for the strict accuracy in the nautical detail of his paintings which often sell for six figures.

The work of Montague Dawson is represented in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich and the Royal Naval Museum, Portsmouth. More

Frank Vining Smith, (1879-1967)

American Clipper

Oil on masonite

19-1/2 x 27-1/2 in. (49.5 x 69.8 cm.)

Private Collection

Born in Whitman, Massachusetts in 1879, Frank Vining Smith summered on Cape Cod and made Hingham, Massachusetts his home. Unable to enter the Navy, he focused on painting—combining it with his love of all things nautical. Smith enrolled at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.  He then studied at the Central Ontario School of Art in Canada and, finally, at the Art Students League in New York City.  Smith began working as an illustrator for the Boston Herald at the age of twenty-three and also executed many illustrations and paintings for the Boston Journal, Outdoors, Field & Stream, and Yachting. His illustrations came to define a generation enjoying the pastime of “leisure and the great outdoors.”

At the age of 47, Smith was able to paint full-time.  World War II brought a resurgence of patriotism and, for Smith, a broadening list of patrons and commissions. His clients included such captains of industry as Josiah K. Lilly Jr. (of Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals fame), fine art connoisseur and museum founder Julian de Cordova and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. More Frank Vining Smith

Frank Vining Smith, (1879-1967)

Packet Ship ‘Dreadnought,’ c. 1946

Oil on board

24 x 30 in.

Private Collection.

The Dreadnought was built for the fast cargo and passenger service between New York and Liverpool. She operated in the Red Cross Line under the command of Captain Samuel Samuels and for the first two years made twenty six passages between New York and Liverpool.

“With an ample supply of timber, Americans had excelled in constructing wooden sailing ships. Their clipper ships of the 1850s were the fastest sailing vessels afloat. American shipbuilders were on the cutting edge of wood and sail, but not of iron and steam..” (American History Online) More The Dreadnought 

John Steven Dews

Cutty Sark Entering The Thames River

Oil on canvas

24 x 36 in. (60.9 x 91.4 cm.)

Private Collection

Cutty Sark is a British clipper ship. Built on the Clyde in 1869 for the Jock Willis Shipping Line, she was one of the last tea clippers to be built and one of the fastest, coming at the end of a long period of design development which halted as sailing ships gave way to steam propulsion.

The opening of the Suez Canal (also in 1869) meant that steam ships now enjoyed a much shorter route to China, so Cutty Sark spent only a few years on the tea trade before turning to the trade in wool from Australia, where she held the record time to Britain for ten years. Improvements in steam technology meant that gradually steamships also came to dominate the longer sailing route to Australia and the ship was sold to the Portuguese company Ferreira and Co. in 1895, and renamed Ferreira. She continued as a cargo ship until purchased by retired sea captain Wilfred Dowman in 1922, who used her as a training ship operating from Falmouth, Cornwall. After his death, Cutty Sark was transferred to the Thames Nautical Training College, Greenhithe in 1938 where she became an auxiliary cadet training ship alongside HMS Worcester. By 1954 she had ceased to be useful as a cadet ship and was transferred to permanent dry dock at Greenwich, London on public display.

Cutty Sark is listed by National Historic Ships as part of the National Historic Fleet (the nautical equivalent of a Grade 1 Listed Building). She is one of only three remaining original composite construction (wooden hull on an iron frame) clipper ships from the nineteenth century in part or whole, the others being the City of Adelaide, which arrived in Port Adelaide, South Australia on 3 February 2014 for preservation, and the beached skeleton of Ambassador of 1869 near Punta Arenas, Chile. More Cutty Sark

John Steven Dews

Cutty Sark Entering The Thames River

Detail

John Steven Dews (British, b. 1949) was born in Beverley, North Humberside in 1949. He has risen from a boy who failed his art ‘A’ level to become Britain’s most sought-after living marine artist. His grandfather was then Assistant Dockmaster at the Hull Docks. He was brought up on a tradition of the sea, the family being able to trace their nautical connections back to the seventeenth century.

Steven, who had been turned down by various naval institutions, settled for Hull Regional College of Art where he graduated in Technical Graphics and Illustration. He moved back to his parents and borrowed a friend’s derelict farmhouse on the northern banks of the Humber. Here, where the light, the skies and the atmosphere were perfect, Steven spent hours painting in a makeshift studio.

He studied photographs, reference books, model ships and architectural drawings, especially noting the sea and sky in their various moods and produced hundreds of pencil sketches graduating to accurate drawings incorporating measurements.

In 1976, his first exhibition was mounted. Virtually the whole body of work was sold on the first night and seventeen commissions were received. The following year he had an exhibition in San Francisco which sold out to large critical acclaim and heralded a secure future as an artist. As a consequence of the number of commissions gained from this exhibition, much of Steven’s work from this period was to cross the Atlantic.

His pictures also formed a major one-man touring fund-raising exhibition opened by HRH The Prince of Wales in support of the excavation of the site of the ”Mary Rose”, Henry VIII’s warship. The exhibition was scheduled for twenty-four destinations around the UK including the National Maritime Museum, and closed at Amoco’s headquarters in Chicago.

As Steven’s reputation blossomed, so did his lifelong affair with the sea. He was able to buy his first yacht and, when not painting the sea, was out sailing on it. In his studio he concentrated on the meticulous detail essential for the accuracy and realism of his painting. Always demanding perfection from his work, he developed techniques to help him.

He lives and loves the subject he paints, with much of his spare time spent sailing. ‘How is it possible to express the air and sea and sky without having experienced the elements, knowing how a ship works, pulled the ropes ?’ he asks. More John Steven Dews

 

Alexander C. Stuart, (1831–1898)

The battle between the U.S.S. Monitor and the C.S.S. Virginia (Merrimac)

Oil on canvas

14 x 22 in. (35.5 x 55.8 cm.)

Private Collection

The Battle of Hampton Roads, often referred to as either the Battle of the Monitor and Merrimack (or Virginia) or the Battle of Ironclads, was the most noted and arguably most important naval battle of the American Civil War from the standpoint of the development of navies. It was fought over two days, March 8–9, 1862. The battle was a part of the effort of the Confederacy to break the Union blockade, which had cut off Virginia’s largest cities, Norfolk and Richmond, from international trade.

The major significance of the battle is that it was the first meeting in combat of ironclad warships, i.e., the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia. The Confederate fleet consisted of the ironclad ram Virginia and several supporting vessels. On that day, Virginia was able to destroy two ships of the Federal flotilla, USS Congress and USS Cumberland, and was about to attack a third, USS Minnesota, which had run aground. However, the action was halted by darkness and falling tide, so Virginia retired.

Determined to complete the destruction of the Minnesota, the CSS Virginia returned the ship to the fray the next morning. During the night, however, the ironclad Monitor had arrived and had taken a position to defend Minnesota. The two ironclads fought for about three hours, with neither being able to inflict significant damage on the other. The duel ended indecisively,. The ships did not fight again, and the blockade remained in place.[4]

The battle received worldwide attention, and it had immediate effects on navies around the world. The preeminent naval powers, Great Britain and France, halted further construction of wooden-hulled ships, and others followed suit. More The Battle of Hampton Roads

Alexander C. Stuart, (1831–1898)

The battle between the U.S.S. Monitor and the C.S.S. Virginia (Merrimac)

Detail

Alexander C. Stuart (1831–1898) was a British-born American painter, specializing in naval scenes. He grew up in Glasgow, served in the British Army, and immigrated to US around 1861. Since then lived and worked on the East Coast of the United States. In the US he served in the Marines and the Navy (Union) until 1866; since then he worked as an artist and illustrator.

In the U.S., Stuart worked primarily on navy bases and shipyards near the Delaware River. He also worked quite a bit in Washington, Philadelphia, and New York. According to an account of his life written by Stuart, he had studied engineering and medicine before enlisting in the English Army in the Crimean War and the Indian Mutiny.

After resigning from the Navy, Stuart began working as an artist and illustrator for the merchant shipbuilding companies. During this period Stuart produced numerous illustrations of early iron steamships built by these firms. 

In 1882, Stuart went to New York, seeking to earn a name and living as an artist in the city. This move did not prove successful. A year later, he moved to Florida. There, he first settled in St. Augustine and then moved to Eustis where he worked as a physician for nearly a year. In 1886, Stuart moved again to the Wilmington area and stayed there until 1895. From there he moved with his daughter to Camden, New Jersey. His financial condition in the final years of his life saw a decline, but he painted marine subjects until his death in 1898. More Alexander C. Stuart 

George Bunn,  (fl.1885 – 1898) 

Towing out, 1890

Oil on canvas

12 x 18 in. (30.4 x 45.7 cm.)

Private Collection

George Bunn (fl.1885 – 1898) was an American artist known for marine painting and commercial art, he was born in Brussels and moved by his family to Utica, New York, remained primarily in New York State until 1885, when he returned to Brussels.  At age 15, he enlisted in a New York cavalry as a bugler to serve in the Civil War, and received a head wound that affected the remainder of his life.  After leaving the Army, he served on the ship, Pensacola, in the Pacific Ocean, and then returned to Utica where he set up a sign painting business.  In his leisure he did marine painting, which he sold locally. More George Bunn

George Bunn, (fl.1885 – 1898)

Towing out, 1890

Detail

Joseph Walter, (1783–1856)

The H.M.S. Britannia with other shipping off Swansea

Oil on canvas

29 x 38 in. (73.6 x 96.5 cm.)

Private Collection

Swansea is a coastal city and county in Wales. It is the second largest city in Wales after Cardiff.

HMS Prince of Wales was one of six 121-gun screw-propelled first-rate three-decker line-of-battle ships of the Royal Navy. She was launched on 25 January 1860. In 1869 she was renamed HMS Britannia and under that name served at Dartmouth as a cadet training ship until 1905.

The Prince of Wales was originally a 3,186 ton 120 gun Queen-class sailing line-of-battle ship. In 1849.. Prince of Wales was reordered to complete as a 121 gun screw line-of-battle ship on 9 April 1856.  Prince of Wales was completed towards the end of the unarmoured phase of a naval arms race between Britain and France. In 1860 the Royal Navy had more wooden steam line-of-battle ships than it needed to man in peacetime.

In 1867, the Prince of Wales’s engines were removed so they could be installed in the ironclad Repulse. In 1869 she was renamed Britannia and began service as a cadet training ship at Dartmouth, replacing the previous Britannia in that role.  More H.M.S. Britannia

Joseph Walter (1783–1856) was an English marine painter in oils and watercolour, working at Bristol and Portishead. He gained notice for his portrayals of Brunel’s steamships Great Western and Great Britain.

Walter was born in Bristol and died there, but was living in Portishead at the time that he exhibited his first known work, This was at the Bristol Institution in 1832, in the first exhibition of the Bristol Society of Artists. He is not known to have been associated with the Bristol School of artists in the 1820s. However surviving sketches suggest that he did take part in the revival of the school’s sketching meetings in the 1830s. 

Walter’s subjects included shipping at Bristol, Southampton, Malta and Saint Lucia. He also portrayed Dutch vessels in the style of the Dutch artists Van de Velde and son. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1837, and also at the Society of British Artists. More Joseph Walter 

Joseph Walter

The H.M.S. Britannia with other shipping off Swansea

Detail

Thomas Luny, 

The destruction of the French fleet at Santa Domingo, c. 1815

Oil on canvas

24 x 34 in. (60.9 x 86.3 cm.)

Private Collection

The Battle of San Domingo was a naval battle of the Napoleonic Wars fought on 6 February 1806 between squadrons of French and British ships of the line off in the Caribbean. The French squadron, under Vice-Admiral Corentin Urbain Leissègues in the 120-gun Impérial, had sailed from Brest in December 1805, one of two squadrons intending to raid British trade routes as part of the Atlantic campaign of 1806.

After winter storms near the Azores damaged and scattered his squadron, Leissègues regrouped and repaired his ships at the city of Santo Domingo, where a British squadron under Vice-Admiral Sir John Thomas Duckworth discovered them on 6 February 1806.

By the time French lookouts at Santo Domingo had spotted Duckworth approaching from the southeast, it was too late for Leissègues to escape. Sailing with the wind westwards along the coast, Leissègues formed a line of battle to meet the approaching British squadron, which had split into two divisions. Duckworth’s lead ships remained in a tight formation and successfully engaged the head of the French line, targeting the flagship Impérial. Severely damaged and surrounded, Leissègues drove Impérial ashore to avoid capture. The remaining French ship of the line, Diomède, followed him. Although most of the crew of these ships scrambled ashore, British boarding parties captured both vessels and set them on fire. The only French ships to escape the battle were three smaller warships, which Duckworth’s squadron had ignored; they eventually returned to France.

The battle of San Domingo was the last fleet engagement of the war between French and British capital ships in open water. The Royal Navy’s dominance off every French port made the risks involved in putting to sea insurmountable. The only subsequent breakout attempt, by the Brest fleet in 1809, ended with the defeat of the French fleet close to its own anchorage at the Battle of the Basque Roads. More The Battle of San Domingo 

Thomas Luny (1759–1837), born in Cornwall, an English artist and painter, mostly of seascapes and other marine-based works. At the age of eleven, Luny left Cornwall to live in London. There he became the apprentice of Francis Holman. Luny remained until 1780 in Holman’s London studio.

In September 1777, Luny journied  to France. During this particular expedition, Luny almost certainly strayed from France itself; his first exhibited picture in London, seen at the Society of Artists that same year.

Thomas Luny, (1759–1837)

The destruction of the French fleet at Santa Domingo, c. 1815

Detail

Luny left Holman’s studio in 1780. It was around this time that Luny was frequently exhibiting at the Royal Academy, in a total of twenty-nine exhibitions between 1780 and 1802. In Leadenhall Street, Luny became acquainted with a “Mr. Merle”, a dealer and framer of paintings who promoted Luny’s paintings for over twenty years, to great success. Luny also found a wealthy source of business in Leadenhall Street, where the British East India Company had their headquarters; their officers commissioned many paintings and portraits from Luny. Luny was occasionally invited as a guest on the Company’s ships on special occasions and voyages.

Several years later, in 1807, Luny decided to move again, this time to Teignmouth in Devon. There he received a number of commissions. Luny was by that time suffering with arthritis in both of his hands. This had no obvious impact on the quality or pace of his artistic work. In fact, of his lifetime oeuvre of over 3,000 works, over 2,200 were produced between 1807 and his death.[2] He died on 30 September 1837. More Thomas Luny

 

T. A. Jameson, (British, born 1840)

Men-o’-War in an Estuary

Oil on canvas

45 x 50cm (17 11/16 x 19 11/16in)

Private Collection

The man-of-war was a British Royal Navy expression for a powerful warship or frigate from the 16th to the 19th century. The term often refers to a ship armed with cannon and propelled primarily by sails, as opposed to a galley which is propelled primarily by oars. The man-of-war was developed in England in the early 16th century from earlier roundships with the addition of a second mast to form the carrack ( a three- or four-masted ocean-going sailing ship). The 16th century saw the carrack evolve into the galleon and then the ship of the line. More The man-of-war

Acknowledgement: BONHAMS NEW YORK

Images are copyright of their respective owners, assignees or others

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Author: zaidangallery

I search Art History for Beautiful works that may, or may not, have a secondary or unexpected story to tell. I then write short summaries that grow from my research. Art work is so much more when its secrets are exposed

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