Excellent color and a depiction of several uniformed sailors with guests onboard a large, fast-moving schooner yacht on the open Atlantic Ocean outside of New York is the heart of this work by New York artist Thomas Willis. While a New York Yacht Club burgee at the foremast top and the American Yachting Ensign with the star-circled anchor are easily identified, the Blue Double-Swallowtail with a gold cross owner’s pennant has yet to reveal the specific identity of the yacht and her owner(s).
Willis worked on direct commissions and undoubtedly knew this vessel. Nice tight detail in the rig and hull of the yacht, with its silk sails well shaped and defined with parallel lines and reef points. Set on an emerald sea rolling headlong at the yacht, Willis has made his sky open and luminous with a subtle pink glow.
This is a fine work, in original condition set in a quality and an outstanding 19th Century frame. The silk and embroidery will remain vibrant out of strong direct sunlight and the oil painted back scene is quite nice and complete. With all her sails up, the identity of this Schooner Yacht is just waiting to be discovered and add more historic content to an excellent work of art.
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