15 Classic Works of Art, Marine Paintings – With Footnotes, #35

Leslie Arthur Wilcox, British, 1904-1982 

The USS ‘United States’ Engaging the HMS ‘Macedonian’ , c. 1977

Oil on canvas 

24 x 36 inches

Private collection

The battle between these two frigates was fought near Madeira on October 25, 1812, the ‘United States’ being commanded by Steven Decater. After a long, bloody battle, the ‘United States’ captured the ‘Macedonian’ and escorted her to Newport, the first British warship ever brought into an American harbor. The British frigate was later recommissoned by the US Navy as the USS ‘Macedonian’ and remained in service until 1836. More on this painting

Leslie Arthur Wilcox, RI, RSMA (13 March 1904 – 11 January 1982) was an eminent British artist known mainly as a marine artist working in oils. He was also a watercolourist, illustrator, poster artist, marine model-maker and author. He was for some years Honorary Secretary of the Royal Society of Marine Artists and a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours. His works are in many collections around the world, including the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, and the Royal Collection. He wrote and illustrated two books on maritime history: Mr Pepys’ Navy (1966 G. Bell & Sons Ltd., London) and Anson’s Voyage (1969 G. Bell & Sons, Ltd., London). More on Leslie Arthur Wilcox

Montague Dawson RMSA, FRSA (1890–1973) 

The Torrens in California Waters

oil on canvas

28 × 42 in

Private collection

Torrens (1875 – 1910) was a clipper ship designed to carry passengers and cargo between London and Port Adelaide, South Australia. She was the fastest ship to sail on that route

It is likely that the vessel was named in honour of Colonel Robert Torrens, a principal exponent of the economic benefits of nineteenth-century colonial trade. 

The Torrens was aimed at the upper end of the market – accommodation was first and second class passengers only. Apart from the crew, she carried “a surgeon, a stewardess and a good cow”

She lost her foremast and main topmast in 1891, and while being refitting in Pernambuco a fire broke out on board. On the evening of 11 January 1899 she struck an iceberg some 40 km south west of the Crozet Islands and limped into Adelaide dismasted, with her bow stoved in. In 1906 the Torrens was sold for £1,500 (she cost £27,257 to build) to an Italian shipping line, but after running her ashore, she was sent to the shipbreakers. They were however so taken by her aesthetic appearance that they refused to break her up, and repaired her instead. But it was not long before she again ran aground. She was finally broken up at Genoa in 1910. More on the Torrens 

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 (18111878), 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 (18411917), 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 on Montague Dawson


James E. Buttersworth, 1817 to 1894.

The Clipper Ship “Flying Cloud” off the Needles, Isle of Wight, 1859-1860.

Oil on canvas

The Needles is a row of three distinctive stacks of chalk that rise about 30m out of the sea off the western extremity of the Isle of Wight, United Kingdom, close to Alum Bay, and part of Totland, the westernmost Civil Parish of the Isle of Wight. The Needles Lighthouse stands at the outer, western end of the formation. Built in 1859, it has been automated since 1994.

The formation takes its name from a fourth needle-shaped pillar called Lot’s Wife, that collapsed in a storm in 1764. The remaining rocks are not at all needle-like, but the name has stuck. More on The Needles


The Flying Cloud of 1851 was the most famous of the extreme clippers built by Donald McKay in East Boston, Massachusetts. The Flying Cloud was purchased at launching by Grinnell, Minturn & Co., of New York, for $90,000, which represented a huge profit for Train & Co. Within six weeks she sailed from New York and made San Francisco ’round Cape Horn in 89 days, 21 hours under the command of Captain Josiah Perkins Creesy. In the early days of the California Gold Rush, it took more than 200 days for a ship to travel from New York to San Francisco.. On the 31st of July, during the trip, she made 374 miles in 24 hours. In 1853 she beat her own record by 13 hours, a world beating record that stood for 136 years, until 1989 when the breakthrough-designed sailboat Thursday’s Child completed the passage in 80 days, 20 hours.

James Edward Buttersworth (British/American, 1817-1894)

The American clipper ship Flying Cloud, c. 1854

Oil on canvas

20 x 30 in

Private collection

The American clipper ship Flying Cloud, Scudding in a Gale of Wind off Cape Horn

on her record-breaking voyage to San Francisco around Cape Horn in 89 days, April 20th 1854.

Apparently, Flying Cloud and her record breaking passage between New York and San Francisco was one of James E. Buttersworth’s favorite clipper ship subjects. In addition to this one, and the one sold at these sale rooms last year [Bonhams, Important Maritime Paintings & Decorative Arts, January 2013, Sale 20482, Lot 113] (below), the one listed in the Grassby book, Ship, Sea & Sky, and another one listed in the Schaefer (further down) book makes four paintings, all the same size and period, circa 1854. More on this painting

Cape Horn, named after the city of Hoorn in the Netherlands, is the southernmost headland of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago of southern Chile, and is located on the small Hornos Island. Although not the most southerly point of South America, Cape Horn marks the northern boundary of the Drake Passage and marks where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans meet.

For decades, Cape Horn was a major milestone on the clipper route, by which sailing ships carried trade around the world. The waters around Cape Horn are particularly hazardous, owing to strong winds, large waves, strong currents and icebergs; these dangers have made it notorious as a sailors’ graveyard.

The need for ships to round Cape Horn was greatly reduced by the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914. More on Cape Horn

James Edward Buttersworth (British/American, 1817-1894)

The clippership Flying Cloud coming out of a hurricane, circa 1855

Oil on canvas

20 x 30 in. (50.8 x 76.2 cm.)

Private collection

The Flying Cloud’s achievement was remarkable under any terms. But, was all the more unusual because her navigator was a woman, Eleanor Creesy. She was one of the first navigators to exploit the insights of Matthew Fontaine Maury, most notably the course recommended in his Sailing Directions. With her husband, ship captain Josiah Perkins Creesy More on Flying Cloud

James Edward Buttersworth (British/American, 1817-1894)

The Clipper “Flying Cloud” off Cape Horn, circa 1855

Oil on board 

Height: 50.8 cm (20 in.), Width: 76.2 cm (30 in.) 

Private collection

Cape Horn, see above

James E. Buttersworth, 1817 to 1894, see below

Raymond A. Massey 

Flying Cloud Entering Hong Kong 1851

Print, Edition: 250

26 1/2″ x 21″

Private collection

Victoria Harbour is a natural landform harbour situated between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon in Hong Kong. The harbour’s deep, sheltered waters and strategic location on the South China Sea were instrumental in Hong Kong’s establishment as a British colony and its subsequent development as a trading centre. More on Victoria Harbour

Born in Newscastle-on-Tyne, England, Raymond A. Massey is a self-taught artist who came to the United States when he was 10 and made his home in Buffalo, New York since the age of 14. A member of the Nautical Research Guild, he was elected an artist member of the American Society of Marine Artists, which was established in 1978 to encourage the preservation and appreciation of maritime history through art. 

Massey’s works have appeared in numerous art shows and galleries from coast-to-coast in the United Stares, and Canada. 

He is also published a number of books, and once wrote about historic Buffalo for the Buffalo Courier Express and illustrated historic Buffalo features in that newspaper. More on Raymond A. Massey 


Johan-Barthold Jongkind, 1819-1891. Paris.

Dutch landscape with a caulking barge, c. 1857.


Johan Barthold Jongkind (3 June 1819 – 9 February 1891) was a Dutch painter and printmaker. He painted marine landscapes in a free manner and is regarded as a forerunner of Impressionism. Jongkind was born in the Netherlands. Trained at the art academy in The Hague, in 1846 he moved to Montparnasse in Paris, France where he studied under Eugène Isabey and François-Édouard Picot. Two years later, the Paris Salon accepted his work for its exhibition, and he received acclaim from critic Charles Baudelaire and later on from Émile Zola. He was to experience little success, however, and he suffered bouts of depression complicated by alcoholism.

Jongkind returned to live in Rotterdam in 1855, and remained there until 1860. Back in Paris, in 1861 he rented a studio on the rue de Chevreuse in Montparnasse where some of his paintings began to show glimpses of the Impressionist style to come. In 1862 he met in Normandy, in the famous ferme Saint-Siméon in Honfleur, with some of his artist friends, such as Alfred Sisley, Eugène Boudin, and the young Claude Monet, to all of whom Jongkind served as a mentor. Monet later referred to him as “…a quiet man with such a talent that is beyond words” and credited the “definitive education” of his own eye to Jongkind. In 1863 Jongkind exhibited at the first Salon des Refusés. He was invited to participate in the first exhibition of the Impressionist group in 1874, but he declined. He died in 1891 in Saint-Égrève. More


Thomas Buttersworth, Jr. (1807-1842), British

Yachting off Torquay

Oil on canvas

12 x 16 in

Private collection

Torquay  is a seaside town in Devon, England, part of the unitary authority area of Torbay. The town’s economy was initially based upon fishing and agriculture, but in the early 19th century it began to develop into a fashionable seaside resort, initially frequented by members of the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars while the Royal Navy anchored in the bay. Later, as the town’s fame spread, it was popular with Victorian society. Renowned for its healthful climate, the town earned the nickname the English Riviera.

The writer Agatha Christie was born in the town and lived there during her early years and there is an “Agatha Christie Mile”, a tour with plaques dedicated to her life and work. More on Torquay

Thomas Buttersworth, Jr. (1807-1842), was named after his father, the well known marine painter Thomas Buttersworth Senior (1766-1841), who was to have a considerable influence on his son’s painting career.

There exist few details about Thomas Junior’s private life. What is known is that in the late 1830’s he was living with his wife Gertude in Lambeth, and in early 1838 his daughter, also Gertrude, was born.

The family had moved to Greenwich by 1841, and this is where their son, also named Thomas, was born in March of that year. Thomas Buttersworth Junior died in Greenwich on November 25, 1842 at the very early age of thirty five. More on Thomas Buttersworth, Jr. 


C. HJALMAR (CAPPY) AMUNDSEN (American, Long Island, 1911-2010)

Dock scene

Oil on canvas

20”h, 26”w

Private collection


J.J. Enwright (pseudonym for Hjalmar “Cappy” Amundsen) was born Caspar Hjalmar Emerson III in  New York City in 1911, and in 1946 legally changed his name to Hjalmar Amundsen in honor of his great-uncle, explorer Roald Amundsen, who located the magnetic center of the South Pole the year his great-nephew was born. 

He was in his early twenties when he first began painting.  Amundsen loved the sea, and had a lifelong interest in sailing and fishing.  While growing up, Hjalmar and his father would drive to the East End of Long Island, and he’d go out in a fishing boat.  Later he bought a small boat and went out sailing and fishing as often as he could.  

As an adult, the young artist moved back to New York and spent time painting in and around Gloucester and Provincetown, Massachusetts.  In his early career, he is believed to have created up to 275 paintings a year over a period of six years under the name of Enwright, and it is now believed that J.J. Enwright and Hjalmar Amundsen is one and the same artist. 

In 1946 he moved to Sag Harbor, Long Island, New York. He opened a studio and lived in the same building, becoming a well-liked figure in the community.  He painted waterfront images, sailing ships, fishing boats, and the New England coastline. 

Cappy lived a bohemian lifestyle, making a living with his painting, but by the 1980s  times had become tough, and it was through the initiative of friends and the community that his house was restored.  He died in Brookhaven Memorial Hospital on January 18, 2001. More on  “Cappy” Amundsen

19th Century British school

Upper reaches of the River Thames, c. 1913

Oil on canvas

14ins x 18ins

Private collection

19th Century British school – Oil painting – Upper reaches of the River Thames with a lighter to foreground and barges and masted vessels.

The River Thames is a river that flows through southern England, most notably through London. At 215 miles (346 km), it is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. The lower reaches of the river are called the Tideway, derived from its long tidal reach up to Teddington Lock. It rises at Thames Head in Gloucestershire, and flows into the North Sea via the Thames Estuary. The Thames drains the whole of Greater London. More on The River Thames 

English school, dominant school of painting in England throughout the second half of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th. Its establishment marked the rise of a national tradition that began with the emergence of native artists whose works were no longer provincial but rivaled continental art in quality and ended by exercising considerable influence on the course of European painting. More on English school

TOMMASO DE SIMONE (Italian, c.1805-1888)

American ship in harbor, c. 1875

For ”Lewis L. Squire”, 


18-1/2”h, 26-1/4”w. (Fine Art)

Private collection

Tomaso De Simone (c.1805-1888) was a Neapolitan port painter; and is considered to be one of the most important ship portraitists who practiced in the Italian seaport cities. The father of noted sea painter Antonio de Simone, Tomaso specialized in oils, the majority depicting warships and merchant vessels.

The architectural properties of Tomaso de Simone’s paintings are exceptional. His hull shapes have fullness and flexibility, his rigging shows a wealth of detail. His portrait of the American continental navy frigate constellation was proven so accurate that it was used as a guide for restoration of the ship, still afloat today in Baltimore. 

Although not as prolific as his son, the works of Tomaso de Simone are arguably more important. In recent years, their value has increased dramatically as they become more rare and sought after by important museums and private collectors world wide. More on Tomaso De Simone

Louis Papaluca (Italian, 1890-1934)

M.Y. Happy Days, N.Y.Y.C. In Memory of First Voyage 1928


16ins x 27.5ins

Private collection

“M.Y. Happy Days, N.Y.Y.C. In Memory of First Voyage 1928″” – is a study of The New York Yacht Clubs steam yacht Happy Days in the Bay of Naples with Vesuvius to background.

Louis Papaluca (Italian, 1890-1934)

Beryl R.Y.S.


23 x 15 in.

Private collection

CHARLES ROSNER (American, Long Island, 1894-1975)

Clipper Ship Golden Eagle

Oil on canvas

24”h, 30”w.

Private collection

The U.S. Golden Eagle was an extreme clipper, built at Medford, Massachusetts, and launched on November 9, 1852. She weighed 1121 tons, had a length of 192 feet, a beam of 36 feet, a 22-foot depth of hold, a gilded eagle on the wing figurehead. 

She made a total of eight voyages from the East Coast around the Horn to San Francisco, the first out of Boston, the others out of New York. On the homeward leg of the last of these voyages, she sailed from San Francisco for Howland`s Island, where she loaded a cargo of guano, and from which she sailed about November 20, 1862, bound for Cork, for orders. On February 21, 1863 she was attacked and burned by the Confederate commerce raider CSS Alabama. Her owners, E. M. Robinson, of New Bedford, and John A. McGaw, of New York, claimed, and were allowed, insurance in the amount of $56,000 for the vessel, $30,000 for freight, and $27,522 for cargo. More on the Golden Eagle

Charles Rosner (German-American, 1894-1975) developed a fascination for sailing vessels while a child on holiday in various German seaports. He also served aboard them, accumulating five Cape Horn passages during his ocean career. After WW I he emigrated to Canada and thence to America, where his affinity for the sea propelled him into a commitment as a full-time marine painter of historic sailing vessels and other sea-faring subjects. More on Charles Rosner

Joaquin Sorolla (Soroia), 1863 – 1923

Walking along the seashore, c. 1911

Oil on Canvas

Joaquin Sorolei House Museum, Madrid

In the painting Sorolla depicted his wife Clotilde and eldest daughter Maria. “Walking along the seashore”. Soria worked on the canvas in Valencia in 1909. He has just returned to Spain from America, where his personal exhibitions in New York, Buffalo and Boston were held with great success and where he created about 20 portraits, Including the then US President Taft . 

The women are graceful, dressed in elegant white dresses and fashionable shoes. The images are completed by beige hats, decorated with flowers, and a white umbrella, which is held by the older woman (Clotilde). More on this painting

Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (27 February 1863 – 10 August 1923) was a Spanish painter. Sorolla excelled in the painting of portraits, landscapes, and monumental works of social and historical themes. His most typical works are characterized by a dexterous representation of the people and landscape under the sunlight of his native land. More on Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida

Fabienne Delacroix

Bord de l’eau à Dieppe

Acrylic on Board


Private collection

Dieppe is a coastal community in the Arrondissement of Dieppe in the Seine-Maritime department in the Normandy region of northern France. 

A port on the English Channel, at the mouth of the Arques river. Dieppe also has a popular pebbled beach, a 15th-century castle and the churches of Saint-Jacques and Saint-Remi. More on Dieppe


Fabienne Delacroix is the youngest child of the master naïf painter Michel Delacroix. She began to paint at the age of ten, working along side her father in his studio. Her talent was evident almost immediately. At twelve years old, her paintings were exhibited in a gallery in Carmel, California where the work completely sold out. In 2004, Fabienne began exhibiting on her own, and while her work can be linked stylistically to her father’s, she is very much an artist in her own right. She has a mastery of light and color that is similar to that of French Impressionists. Until recently, Fabienne was known mainly for her seascapes and pastoral landscapes. Fabienne continues to paint the French countryside, seaside and sometimes even Boston with her signature flair. She currently lives and works in Paris, France. More on Fabienne Delacroix

Naïve art is recognized, and often imitated, for its childlike simplicity and frankness.[4] Paintings of this kind typically have a flat rendering style with a rudimentary expression of perspective. More on Naïve art

Fabienne Delacroix

la jetée de Trouville

Acrylic on Board


Private collection

Trouville-sur-Mer, commonly referred to as Trouville, is a commune in the Calvados department in the Normandy region in northwestern France.

Trouville-sur-Mer borders Deauville. This village of fishermen is a popular tourist attraction in Normandy.

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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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