Robert Salmon is undoubtedly one of the most important painters in marine art history. He played a crucial role in the development of maritime art in America. He is widely considered the father of American luminism with a style of painting that was to influence the likes of Fitz Hugh Lane, William Bradford and many other young New England artists of the 19th century.
Born in England in 1775, he painted mainly in Greenock, Liverpool and other ports. He left a successful career in England to emigrate to the United States where he settled in Boston in 1828. It was in this New England seaport that he created his best work from his waterfront studio. As a member of the Boston Artists Association, he interacted with many of the young American artist who would follow and emulate him.
The artist developed a very distinctive style based upon the classical techniques of the Dutch marine masters and he became widely known for his ability to paint exact representations of his subject vessels. With their subtle illumination and early 19th century sensibility, Salmon's paintings today rightfully command the greatest passion among connoisseurs of American marine art.