James E. Buttersworth
'Yacht Race at Newport, RI '

James E. Buttersworth
'Yacht Race'

James E. Buttersworth
'Cutters Racing'

Following in the footsteps of his father, the maritime painter Thomas Buttersworth (1768-1842), James E. Buttersworth established himself as a preeminent painter of nautical scenes in the 19th Century. James was born in England and immigrated to the United States in 1845, settling in West Hoboken, New Jersey.

He began his career in America by working for Currier & Ives, who published lithographs after many of his ship paintings. His images were also used in magazines and newspapers that reported the yachting events of the day. New York Harbor and the surrounding areas became a favorite background for his vessels which he portrayed faithfully with an eye for precise detail. By 1850, Buttersworth had established his reputation for the skilled depiction of sailing yachts in New York Harbor.His reputation sprang from his accurate representations of the great sailing yachts of his time. Buttersworth chronicled a twenty-four year period of America’s Cup racing, from 1870 through 1893, capturing many of the great yachts of the day under sail in the Harbor.

In order to accent the speed and grace of these vessels, he would often elongate the hulls and sails to create a feeling of motion portrayed along a low horizon line. With dramatic skies, churning seas and accurate detail, he ennobled and romanticized sailing ships with what have become historically important paintings that are both beautiful and refined.




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