James Edward Buttersworth (1817-1894) U.S. Frigate in a Naval Engagement 18 x 24in (Painted circa 1860-70.)

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Lot 45
James Edward Buttersworth
(1817-1894)
U.S. Frigate in a Naval Engagement 18 x 24in

Sold for US$ 75,075 inc. premium

American Art

22 May 2019, 16:00 EDT

New York

James Edward Buttersworth (1817-1894)
U.S. Frigate in a Naval Engagement
signed 'J.E. Buttersworth' (lower right)
oil on canvas
18 x 24in
Painted circa 1860-70.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Port 'N Starboard Gallery, Falmouth, Maine.
    Acquired by the present owner from the above, 2014.

    James Edward Buttersworth is renowned for his large body of work depicting luminist yachting scenes, but the artist also found inspiration in military ships and applied his keen attention to detail to battle scenes. The present work depicts a U.S. Naval Frigate engaged in a battle with a second ship firing. The second ship at right appears to be flying the Spanish flag. While the specific battle has not been identified, there were naval engagements in the early-nineteenth century between the United States and Spain that could have inspired this scene, including disputes over Amelia Island, Florida in 1812 and 1817.

    Under a stormy sky and in rough seas, in the foreground at right, a rowboat with sailors has undertaken a rescue mission for their comrade seen reaching for help in the water. There are two other known examples by the artist featuring similar composition of a naval frigate and rescue scene of a man overboard, which are both smaller in size than the present work. Both works feature a smaller Spanish Cutter ship at right than the gun ship included in the present work. One example is entitled Engagement at Sea Between an American Frigate and a Spanish Cutter is illustrated in A. Granby, J. Hyland, Maritime Maverick: The Collection of William I. Koch, Boston, Massachusetts, 2006, p. 40.

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