A dramatic and exciting scene of yacht racing on Long Island Sound, this work is strong in both composition and detail. The lead racer is coming up on a marker buoy with her competitors close behind. The spectator fleet is on hand along with the brightly flagged committee boat among which is certainly the New York Yacht Club burgee. Though the individual yacht burgees are too small to be recognized in this work, given the location it's likely this painting features yachts and spectators from among the NYYC's members.
Moran is particularly known for his yacht racing scenes, and they are among his most sought after works both in his time and for collectors today. Moran's popularity had soared after his showing of three paintings in the 1876 American Centennial in Philadelphia. It is thought that his yachting work shown there brought him several commissions from well-heeled yachtsmen, increasing his fame further, particularly in yachting circles.
Moran has set the racers on a sunny day with great light contrast in the clouds and sky. The wind is good but not blowing too hard, no whitecaps dot the sea which is active but not rough. It was clearly a very fine day for sailing and for watching an exciting race on Long Island Sound.
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