16 Classic Works of Art, Marine Paintings - With Footnotes, 16

Montague Dawson R.S.M.A., F.R.S.A., 1895-1973
Oil on canvas
101.5 by 127cm., 40 by 50in.
Private Collector

Dawson insisted on strict accuracy in terms of the rendering  of nautical detail and the vast majority of his works, particularly the tea clippers of the 19th century, depict specific vessels, in a particular place on a recorded voyage.  In the present work the vertically orientated design of the stern galleries suggest a British ship of the late 17th century, but other than that the narrative and detail is left ambiguous.  Dawson was clearly enamoured and inspired by the notorious pirates and privateers of the 17th century and produced a number of dramatic and escapist paintings, of which the present work is a superb example. More

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

Herman Herzog, 1831 - 1932
Oil on canvas
20 by 24 inches, (50.8 by 61 cm)
Private Collector

Hermann Ottomar Herzog (November 15, 1832 – February 6, 1932) was a prominent nineteenth- and early twentieth-century European and American artist, primarily known for his landscapes. He is associated with the Düsseldorf school of painting.

He was born in Bremen, Germany and entered the Düsseldorf Academy at age seventeen. Herzog achieved early commercial success, allowing him to travel widely and continue his training. His patrons included royalty and nobility throughout Europe.

In the late 1860s, after an extensive trip to Norway, Herzog settled permanently near Philadelphia in the United States. Thereafter, he traveled throughout the U.S. and Mexico. He painted his way across the western states, arriving in California in 1873. His works from this trip included a series of Yosemite Valley paintings. In 1876, he received an award at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition for his painting of Sentinel Rock in Yosemite. Herzog also made extensive trips to Maine and Florida to paint.

Because he was a prudent investor, Herzog did not have to depend on the sale of his artwork to maintain a comfortable lifestyle. Following his death, his family retained a large group of his paintings, most of which were released to the art market in the 1970s. A number of prominent American and European museums now include Herzog's work as part of their collections.

Herzog's work is sometimes considered to be part of the Hudson River School, although it is more realistic and less dramatic than works by peers Frederic Edwin Church or Albert Bierstadt.

In his long life, Herzog created more than 1,000 paintings, including "Women in a Tropical Setting" and "Landscape with a Bear and her Cub". More

Vincent Courdouan (7 March 1810 -- 8 December 1893)
Battle of the Romulus (1848)

February 13, 1814. In 1847, as the ship Romulus, under the command of Commander Rolland, tries to escape from a British squadron in the harbor of Toulon. Due to his perfect knowledge of the Toulon coast,  the pilot Pierre Reboul, steered the vessel until it came under the protection of fort Sainte Marguerite. The English abandoned the chase and the ship will be saved. Pierre Reboul was honored with the Legion of Honor. The Toulon painter Vincent Courdouan immortalized this scene on a painting entitled The fight of Romulus. More

Joseph Vincent François Courdouan (7 March 1810, Toulon - 8 December 1893, Toulon) was a French painter who specialized in maritime scenes. He began his artistic studies at the age of twelve with the local artist Pierre Letuaire. Later, he spent some time at the "École des Beaux-Arts de la Marine", a small school under the direction of the naval sculptor Félix Brun (1763-1831). In 1829, he went to Paris where he studied engraving and worked in the studios of the painter Paulin Guérin, who was also originally from Toulon.

Vincent Courdouan (7 March 1810 -- 8 December 1893)
Battle of the Romulus (1848)

After completing his studies, he returned home and, in 1833, became a member of the Académie du Var, a group that promotes the arts and sciences in that region and can boast of many prominent members. Three years later, he was back in Paris with his first exhibition at the Salon, where he continued to exhibit, winning a Third Class Medal in 1838 for his watercolors and pastels.

In 1840, he began accepting students. He travelled to Naples in 1844. The following year, he turned more to oil painting and exhibited widely throughout France, notably in Lyon. In 1847, he visited Algeria and achieved a Gold Medal at the Salon in 1848 for his painting "Battle of the Romulus" (above). This recognition was a major factor in his receiving a Professorship at the "École de la Marine de Toulon" in 1849. Three years later, he was awarded the Légion d’Honneur.

He was named Honorary Director of the Musée d'Art de Toulon in 1857 and, five years later, was admitted into the Félibrige (an Occitan cultural association) by its founder, Frédéric Mistral. The following year, at the age of 53, he married one of his students.

He continued to exhibit and travel widely for many years (including a trip to Egypt in 1866). He had his last showing at the Salon in 1883 and his last major exhibitions at Hyères and Aix-en-Provence in 1886. He died in the same house where he had been born. More

Vincent Courdouan (1810–1893)
Zouave Boarding leaving for Algiers, c. 1855
Oil on canvas
148 × 230 cm (58.3 × 90.6 in)
Museum of Fine Arts in Narbonne, France

The Zouaves were a class of light infantry regiments of the French Army serving between 1830 and 1962 and linked to French North Africa, as well as some units of other countries modelled upon them. The zouaves, along with the indigenous Tirailleurs Algeriens, were among the most decorated units of the French Army.

It was initially intended in 1830 that the zouaves be a regiment of Berber volunteers from the Zwawa group of tribes in Algeria (thus the French term 'zouave') who had gained a martial reputation fighting for the Ottomans. The regiment was to consist of sixteen hundred Zwawa Berbers, French NCOs and French officers. Five hundred Zwawa were recruited in August and September, but to raise numbers to the desired sixteen hundred, it was decided that the pool of recruits should be expanded to volunteers of any ethnicity, so the first zouave regiment was a mixture of Berber, Arab, European and black volunteers. Twelve years later, zouaves began to be recruited exclusively from Europeans, a policy which continued (with the exception of the Second World War) until the final dissolution of these regiments after the independence of Algeria. More

Edmond Marie Petitjean, (French, 1844-1925)
A French harbour 
Oil on canvas
65 x 92.5cm (25 9/16 x 36 7/16in)
Private Collector

Edmond Marie Petitjean, 1844 - 1925, French, was born at Neufchâteau in the Vosges. His father, a lawyer, did not allow him to study art until he had completed courses at the Faculty of Law at Nancy. From that moment, he abandoned the law and was able to devote himself entirely to his artistic career. Success followed swiftly; his work was well received at the exhibition of the Lorraine Society of the Friends of Arts, and then, in 1873, he made a brilliant début at the salon in Paris.

He was awarded an honorable mention in 1881, and a bronze medal in 1884; hors-concours, and a silver medal in 1885; a silver medal in 1889 at the Exposition Universelle, the Legion of Honor in 1892, and a gold medal at the Exposition Universelle of 1900; he was a member of the jury and of the Committee of the Artistes Français for many years.

Yet Edmond was never satisfied with his own work:“In my painting, I have searched passionately for perfections, delicacy, tenderness of expression and tone; and I feel that it will all crumble and become insipid in the Salon where, in order to elbow one’s way in, one most by violent.”

All those aspects of nature which Petitjean loved appear in his work. He could see the picturesque detail and transcribe it in full; sensitive to color, but wary of its violence. He loved the countryside, and his vision was essentially that of a country man, his inclinations leading him to the peace of rural surroundings.

Petitjean is perhaps best known for his depiction of the countryside and villages of Lorraine and Vendée. He did, however, find inspiration further afield – in the harbors of le Hâvre, Dunkerque, les Sables d’Olonne, Dieppe, Rotterdam, Bordeaux and the neighboring coastline. More

Edward Moran, 1829 - 1901
Oil on canvas laid down on Masonite
30 by 24 7/8 inches, (76.2 by 63.2 cm)
Private Collector

Edward Moran (August 19, 1829 in Bolton, Lancashire, England – June 8, 1901 in New York City) was an American artist of maritime paintings. Moran was born in England on August 19, 1829. Following in the footsteps of his father's profession, he learned to operate a hand-loom at a young age, though he would often be found sketching with charcoal on the white fabric instead of plying the shuttle. His family first emigrated to Maryland in 1844, and then to Philadelphia a year later.

It was in Philadelphia around 1845 that Edward apprenticed under James Hamilton and landscape painter Paul Weber; Hamilton guided Moran specifically in the style of marine paintings. 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, Edward received commissions and even completed some lithographic work. In 1862, he traveled to London and became a pupil in the Royal Academy. 

In 1885, at the height of his career, Moran began on what would be considered his most important work - a series of 13 paintings representing the Marine History of the United States. He chose to have thirteen paintings in the series because of the significance of the number in American history (13 colonies, 13 stars and stripes on the original US flag, etc.). The subjects include Leif Ericsson, Christopher Columbus, Hernando de Soto, Henry Hudson, and Admiral Dewey, among others.[3] Not long after their completion, the series was displayed at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. More

Seth Arca Whipple, 1855 - 1901
Oil on canvas laid down on paperboard
23 3/4 by 36 inches, (60.4 by 91.5 cm)
Private Collector

Columbia is a Gloucester Fishing Schooner. It was built by Arthur Dana Story from the design of Starling Burgess, at Essex, MA, 1923. The Columbia represents the final development of the Gloucester fishing schooner, famous for speed and seaworthiness. It participated a number of international races, including the one against Bluenose in Halifax. In August 1927 when it was hit by the two Gales, the well-known "Graveyard of the Atlantic", Columbia was lost with all hands off Sable Island. More

American School, second half of the 19th Century
OFF SANDY HOOK, NEW JERSEY, circa 1865-85. 
Oil on canvas
25 3/4 by 35 3/4 inches, (65.4 by 90.8 cm)
Private Collector

Attributed to Cornelis de Wael (Flemish, 1592-1667)
A sea battle between the Spanish and the Duchy of Savoy 
Oil on canvas
43.7 x 61.3cm (17 3/16 x 24 1/8in)
Private Collector

The scene depicted is possibly The Relief of Genoa, an engagement Cornelis de Wael is known to have depicted from engravings of the subject. It took place between 28 March 1625 and 24 April 1625 as part of the Thirty Years' War. It was a major naval expedition launched by Spain against the Republic of Genoa, which was being besieged by a joint Franco-Savoyard army. More

Cornelis de Wael (Antwerp, 1592 – Rome, 1667) was a Flemish painter, engraver and merchant who was primarily active in Genoa in Italy. He is known for his genre paintings, battle scenes and history paintings. Through his art work, support for Flemish painters working in Italy and role as an art dealer, he played an important role in the artistic exchange between Italy and Flanders in the first half of the 17th century. More

Abraham Hulk, Snr (Dutch, 1813-1897)
Sailing boats off the jetty 
Oil on panel
15 x 24cm (5 7/8 x 9 7/16in).
Private Collector

Abraham Hulk Senior (1 May 1813 in London - 23 March 1897 in Zevenaar) was an Anglo Dutch painter, drawer and lithograph. Abraham became one of the well known marine painters of his time in the 19th century and with that the patriarch of a whole family of Anglo Dutch painters. He studied first to paint portraits under the portrait painter, Jean Augustin Daiwaille (1786–1850) and after that at the Rijksacademie in Amsterdam.

From 1833 to 1834 he traveled in America to New York and Boston where he exhibited in Boston. In 1834 he returned to the Netherlands where he first lived in Amsterdam and from 1834 to 1896 in The Hague and Leeuwarden. In the meantime from 1855 to 1856 first in Enkhuizen and afterwards in Oosterbeek and Haarlem, but returned for good in 1870 to England, where he lived till his death in 1897. Although most literature states that he died in London, he actually died on a short visit in Zevenaar in the Netherlands. He became well known because he seemed to have the ability to paint the sea and its ships in such a different way for which he became one of the great marine painters. Some of his portraits have survived. His work was exhibited in the Royal Academy in London from 1876 to 1890 where he entered three paintings of which two were Dutch seascapes. He also exhibited at the Suffolk Street Galleries in London and in Leeuwarden and The Hague in the Netherlands from 1843 to 1868. More

William Anslow Thornley (British fl, 1858-1898)
Shipping in choppy waters 
Oil on canvas
20.5 x 40cm (8 1/16 x 15 3/4in)
Private Collector

William Anslow Thornbery aka William Thornley (fl. 1858 – 1898) was an English marine painter, mainly of coastal scenes. He is generally identified with an artist signing as William A. Thornbery, and sometimes with the artist signing William A. Thornbury in the 1880s. Close in style to Hubert Thornley, who also painted coastal scenes, he was possibly related. More

William Anslow Thornley (British, 19th Century)
Low tide 
Oil on panel
25.4 x 20.3cm (10 x 8in)
Private Collector

William Anslow Thornley (British, 19th Century), see above

Peter van de Velde, ANVERS 1634 - 1723
66 x 85 cm ; 26 by 33 1/2 in
Private Collector

Peter van de Velde or Peter van den Velde (1634 – after 1723), was a Flemish Baroque marine painter who lived well into the 18th century. He was born in Antwerp where he became a master of the Guild of St. Luke in 1654. Between 1666 and 1680 he is recorded in the guild as having pupils. Between 1668 and 1675 he produced 50 paintings for the Antwerp art dealers Forchondt, who exported these to Vienna.
Considering the great age that this painter is supposed to have reached, it is possible that the name Peter van de Velde refers actually to two painters, maybe a father and son pair who signed with the same name. A son of Peter van de Velde was baptized in Antwerp in 1687. He is known for marines in stormy seas.
Peter van de Velde died some time after 1723, the latest date discovered on one of his paintings. More

Peter van de Velde, ANVERS 1634 - 1723
66 x 85 cm ; 26 by 33 1/2 in
Private Collector

Peter van de Velde or Peter van den Velde (1634 – after 1723), see above

Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890)
View of the Sea at Scheveningen, The Hague, August 1882 
Oil on canvas, 
34.5 cm x 51.0 cm 
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Vincent van Gogh (born March 30, 1853, Zundert, Neth.—died July 29, 1890, Auvers-sur-Oise, near Paris, France). Dutch painter, generally considered the greatest after Rembrandt, and one of the greatest of the Post-Impressionists. The striking colour, emphatic brushwork, and contoured forms of his work powerfully influenced the current of Expressionism in modern art. Van Gogh’s art became astoundingly popular after his death, especially in the late 20th century, when his work sold for record-breaking sums at auctions around the world and was featured in blockbuster touring exhibitions. In part because of his extensive published letters, van Gogh has also been mythologized in the popular imagination as the quintessential tortured artist. More

Marc-Aurèle Fortin
Bassin Louise, Québec (c. 1948)
26 ⅜" x 33 ½"
Casein on panel
Private Collector

Marc-Aurèle Fortin (March 14, 1888 – March 2, 1970) was a Québécois painter, born in 1888 in Ste-Rose, Quebec. He studied art in Montreal and worked at the Montreal Post Office, and at an Edmonton bank. He studied art abroad. He was known for painting watercolour landscapes of the St. Lawrence Valley. He travelled around the St. Lawrence Valley by bicycle. Fortin believed that "Canadian artists should take their inspiration from the countryside and progress towards a national art... We should excel in landscapes, exactly as the French do".

He was part of the first Atelier exhibition at Henry Morgan Galleries in April 1932 together with Atelier founder John Goodwin Lyman, André Biéler, and Edwin Holgate. Fortin was exhibited by Galerie L'Art français from the 1940s.

His works are displayed at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in Montreal. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. He died in 1970. More

Images are copyright of their respective owners, assignees or others

Acknowledgment: Sotheby's

Images are copyright of their respective owners, assignees or others

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