American School, c. 1856-60
The Yacht Julia in the New York Yacht Club Race off Sandy Hook, New Jersey
Oil on canvas, 21 1/2 x 29 1/2 in., the yacht at center with other sailing vessels in the background, in a molded gilt-gesso frame.
Condition: Scattered spots of retouch in the sky and sails, areas of retouch along left and right sides of canvas; relined, conserved, and framed by Swain Galleries, Plainfield, New Jersey, 1974.
Note: The Julia was constructed by George Steers for James M. Waterbury, Esq., a founding member of the New York Yacht Club. The painting is reminescent of work by James E. Buttersworth, based on similarities of style and form. The use of cadmium orange in the sky is seen in Buttersworth's Yacht "Orion" in a New York Yacht Club race in American Marine Painting by John Wildmerding as well as his Yacht under Full Sail. Yachting, by Pritchet, 1894, vol. 2, reports the seventy -eight-foot yacht was designed by Nelson Spratt. "This Wonderful Yacht seems to have sprung into existence by chance; her designer was a quiet, obscure man whose ideas of naval architecture were far in advance of his time... 'Julia' was one of the handsomest yachts of her day and the fastest when proper allowance for difference of size was made." Julia was depicted by numerous prominent marine artists, some showing the owner's burgee seen at the top of the mast, including the New York Yacht Club Regatta showing Julia in the New Bedford-Edgartown Regatta of 1856 by William Bradford and Albert Van Beest. (William Bradford: Sailing Ships & Arctic Seas).
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