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James E. Buttersworth

James E. Buttersworth

James E. Buttersworth (1817-1894), American marine painter.

This painting was included in a major retrospective exhibition of James E. Buttersworth entitled "Illuminating the Sea"
at the Mystic Seaport Maritime Art Gallery in Mystic, CT in April, 2008.

J. E. Buttersworth was a leading 19th century ship painter. His father was the English painter Thomas Buttersworth (1768-1842), who himself exhibited "sea pieces" at London galleries from 1797-1827. James Buttersworth emigrated to the U.S. about 1845 and by 1847 was working for Nathaniel Currier (and soon after for Currier & Ives), who published many of his ship pictures over the next 20 years.

Buttersworth settled in West Hoboken, NJ, and established a strong reputation by the 1850's, gaining recognition for his depictions of the yachts in New York Harbor. His work incorporated scrupulous and authentic detail, both of the boats and their settings. His skill at portraying the beautiful shapes of wind-filled sails, and the feeling of a sailboat moving through the water, has never been equaled. During the twenty-four year period of America's Cup racing from 1870 through 1893, Buttersworth chronicled many of the great racing yachts of that era.

Buttersworth painted images of the America's Cup yacht Magic on a number of occasions including Magic winning the America's Cup (Terra Museum of American Art), the privately owned (ex Kennedy Gallery) painting of Magic and Dauntless rounding Sandy Hook Lightship in the Hurricane Cup Race, and Magic and Gracie on the occasion of the New York Yacht Club regatta of June 22, 1871. All are shown flying the same private signal of J. Lester Wallack, which also appears in this painting of Magic as well.

Credit: Falk; A. J. Peluso

On exhibit: "America's Cup yacht, Magic",
Signed J. E. Buttersworth, lower right.
Oil on canvas. 14" x 22".
Price $ 


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