Few artists could capture the soul of a sailing ship as well as professional sailor, Cape Horner and consummate marine painter Charlie Patterson. He painted ships, always ships, and he painted them with a knowledge that came from a hard earned wealth of personal observation and experience. He witnessed the final years of one of the most-storied American clippers, NIGHTINGALE, which sailed until 1893, spanning a forty-two year career.
In this painting the sea, sky and set of the sails are in artistic unity, making it a visual record of one of the fastest clippers ever, the Sampson & Tappan-owned clipper of Boston, of which is said “her story is more checkered, more mysterious, more exciting and romantic than that of any other clipper ship.” The artistic skill that faithfully captures the true blues and ever changing textures of mid-ocean gives a Patterson canvas such as this the combined qualities of technical mastery and visual accuracy.
Patterson has depicted the most yacht-like clipper ever built competing with another of the 19th century’s great clippers in either an impromptu race or a pre-arranged challenge. NIGHTINGALE was one of the first ships to sail from the East coast to Australia, ran in the China tea trade, sailed around Cape Horn to California and later was a captured slaver. Confiscated by the U.S. government, she served in the navy and in later merchant fleets as well.
first name :