Beautifully vibrant with colors as bold as when artist Charles Robert Patterson painted this work, this is a fine marine narrative of a large American vessel sailing for pleasure captured on canvas. The barkentine’s crew proudly hoist the American Yachting Ensign with the circle of 13 stars around the fouled anchor, established for American registered yachts by Congress so ships could avoid customs’ inspections in local harbors. Several figures are shown on-deck enjoying the task of sailing the large vessel.
This painting is perfect in compositional scale, with the black-over-red funnel of a Cunard Passenger Liner cutting the Atlantic waters. In the first quarter of the 20th Century there were dozens of Cunard Liners, pre-and-post war, and some such as SCYTHIA, whose profile matches nicely to the silhouette of the distant liner, ran the Liverpool-to-New York route often. Today’s breeze is stiff and driving both the sailing yacht and the passenger’s liners smoke exhaust.
Patterson depicts the distance in three interest methods: his water actually lightens and has less variation over the sunny distance, the cloud formations and density draw us to view the sky nearly a three-dimensional with the decreasing sizes and solid atmosphere on the horizon., and the bold contrast of the close yacht to the hazy illusion of the liner expands the space pictured. At this distance one would wonder who was more envious of the others, the opulence of the age aboard the transatlantic liners of Cunard verse the freedom of pleasure cruising a traditional sailing ship.
Provenance: Private Chicago Collection.
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