John Blount (1860-1910)

Anglo-American

Drawing upon his innate skill and familiar knowledge of sailing ships, Captain John Blount turned to his latent artistic talents while laid up with an injury. His technically precise brush and accomplished eye led to his continued professional interest in nautical art. As such, he was one of very few period marine painters of San Francisco.

Blount was born in St. Ives, England. Of his early years, little is known but that at 14 he left to work on the sea. He was “taught the ropes”, earning a promotional path through the ranks of merchant sailors until he was made a ship’s captain. He married and was living in San Francisco in 1894. His family life, as well as a great number of his paintings, were destroyed in the earthquake and fire of 1906.

Today Blount’s works grab attention with the near-photographic detail he paints. His palette holds strong deliniation of colors. His quality is so good that his works merit their individual rediscoveries. Locating a significant number of canvases is a difficult task, considering the believed-scarcity of Blount’s original output. Still, the known examples earn him high honors among period west coast marine painters and portraitists.

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