Among the 19th and 20th century ship portraitists who practiced in Italian seaport cities, the father and son, Tommaso and Antonio de Simone are probably the best known. The son, Antonio de Simone worked in watercolor and watercolor variants, chiefly but not limited to gouache, while Tommaso, the father, is noted for working exclusively in oils.
Antonio specialized in portraits of the great society yachts of the period, successfully capturing just about every important private yacht to visit Naples. These fine portraits were commissioned by the owners to show their vessels at anchor under Mount Vesuvius during their Mediterranean cruises. A noted aspect of his paintings is his use of a brilliant cerulean blue to portray sea and sky.
Works by both Antonio and Tommaso de Simone are well known and recognized throughout the seafaring community. Their paintings have been sought out and acquired by many of the world's foremost museums and collectors. In recent years the investment value of works by the de Simones has increased dramatically as their paintings become more scarce and increasingly sought after. Their headland coastal views are some of the best to be found.