A fine work that displays qualities that this important family of maritime painters would come to use often, such as a man overboard being rescued by a long boat, and the fire of the cannons partially obscured by the smoke of battle, and even the power of nature itself, with the storm-driven sky and the bright sun break in the overhead clouds. Grandson James Edward Buttersworth would make this last artistic device a signature of his throughout the fine quality and widely sought after American yachting scenes he painted.
Scenes that showed navy actions were quite popular with the British public, with many families directly related to those who served. The British Empire was expanded and maintained by the Royal Navy, and for more than 200 years England rules the waves, until challenged by a growing American Navy in 1812. Their encounters with French combatants were numerous, early through Dutch-and-French, or Spanish plots, and of course the machinations of Napoleon. It the 1830s this is most likely an economic battle, with either a privateer seeking easier targets, or most likely, a smuggler of goods trying to make an English landfall.
A nice size painting, the character of the ocean is very accomplished, as are the details of the three distinct and different vessels, with their sailors either clearly shown or suggested. Naval hats with flashes of red are visible on deck of the French Sloop-of-War, while the British sailors and marines stay to the rail to keep sight on their opponent and the marksmanship of their skilled gunnery. Who the man being rescued is a matter of mystery.
first name :