A conglomeration of American shipping interests interact in this scene by noted maritime artists Alexander C. Stuart. Under an open sky, a light riding brigantine meets a pilot steam tug to prepare for her arrival to one of the numerous harbors in Delaware Bay and River. Is her final destination Port Mahon or Sinnickson Landing, or most possibly the great harbor of Philadelphia?
In this painting, Stuart employs a beautiful faint luminosity in the afternoon sky, with a clouded yet fresh breeze off the coast and rolling waves. His ocean is harmonious in coloration and evenly chaotic in the pace of the swells. Beside the subject brigantine and pilot tug, the nine vessels shown include a full rigged merchant ship, a heavy-bodied whaling ship with boats suspended from davits, a yawl, schooners and a rowed boat powered by three able bodied men and loaded with cargo. Splashes of color throughout suggest unique items of clothing, and show a shared presence of common working men.
It is a rather unique composition for Stuart. Instead of a historic battle or a full portrait of a specific ship, he has captured a marine narrative of interest, with its diversity of ship types and general themes. It most likely is marking the moment in time, where the brigantine has returned its crew to their home port, or is preparing to make a journey of some length.
first name :