This is an early dramatic depiction of the men, some of their vessels and a dog, on board one of the great Nova Scotia Schooners, from the days before such a profession held much glamour. Her working crew shown topside and in a boat on the water, and these hard working and hearty men always commanded a dose of respect, but few were envious of the effort they expended and the dangers they daily faced. One such schooner, the famous BLUENOSE came to be the nautical identity of an entire country and its people. Built in 1921 from day one to be a racing schooner that was capable of working the fishing banks of the Northern Atlantic Ocean, her owners, designers and captains always had an eye on a certain prize: The International Fishermen’s Trophy.
In what may only be classified as a large and early painting by Jack L. Gray, he has put the emphasis directly on his homage to the men working the ships, both in the labor on deck and the peril of the small boat in the open oceans. The artist has such a unique touch with his brushwork presentation that anyone who knew these men may well recognize them from this portrayal, and Gray himself later both knew and worked alongside such men. The ocean is surging and ominous, with a thick broad palette and impasto. Once the acclaim of the Racing Grand Banks Schooners was in fashion, Gray saw fit to honor their predecessors.
Provenance: Capt. Jack Prosser, Nova Scotia, who, according to his son Terence, bought it directly from the artist for a case of whiskey in about 1950.
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