This work, dating to about 1840, is one of James E. Buttersworth's earlier paintings from his English period. At the time, the artist would have still been in his early twenties. The strength of his draftsmanship and his skillful use of sea and sky to highlight and provide contrast for his vessels is distinctly evident.
The soft tones and subtle textures in this painting show the strong influence of the artist's father, Thomas Buttersworth, also a well known marine painter, but the sharp detail and gracefully drawn hull lines of the plumb stemmed cutter-yachts under the strong light breaking through the clouds in this work are all trademarks of the younger Buttersworth that would mark his rise to prominence.
Early paintings such as this from J.E. Buttersworth show a clarity of design and form that were to be the basis of his later success in America. His yachting subjects are considered the most sought after by today's collectors. These pictures are valuable for their rarity and as fine examples showing the evolution of one of the most identifiable and sought after styles in marine painting.
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