Palm BeachMasters of the High Seas
Findlay Galleries is proud to present a refined selection of maritime paintings from various artists depicting clipper ships, naval frigates, harbor craft, and the glamorous world of American yachting. Findlay Galleries’ extensive maritime collection extends from 19th Century traditional artists such as Antonio Jacobsen, Franklin Stanwood and Antonio de Simone to contemporary artists such as George Nemethy and Stephen J. Renard.
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Born in Denmark in 1850, Antonio Jacobsen studied art before sailing for America at age 18. His artistic talent attracted the attention of several sea captains and shipping companies, who commissioned him to paint their ships. The Old Dominion Line, Fall River Line and White Star Line were among these early patrons and soon the recognition he received helped establish him as the foremost chronicler of American shipping in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Nearly every ship that sailed in and out of New York Harbor between 1873 and 1919 was chronicled by Jacobsen.
His characteristic profile of a vessel and unique treatment of the sea make his paintings almost instantly recognizable to any marine enthusiast. Interestingly, very few of Jacobsen’s paintings are on canvas. He chose instead to paint on academy board, which allowed him to use more pressure with his brush and achieve a smoother painted surface with finer detail.
Jacobsen chronicled the changing domestic and international ships as they passed through the age of sail into the age of steam, making an important and lasting contribution to maritime painting. Today, his paintings reside in private and public collections worldwide.
ANTONIO DE SIMONE
Antonio de Simone was born in Italy in 1851. His father, Tommaso de Simone, was an accomplished painter and helped develop his son’s artistic talent.
De Simone is among the best-known 19th and 20th century ship portraitists who practiced in Italian seaport cities. He specialized in portraits of the great society yachts of the period, successfully capturing nearly every important private yacht to visit Naples. These fine portraits were commissioned by the owners to show their vessels at anchor under Mount Vesuvius during their Mediterranean cruises. His use of a brilliant cerulean blue to portray sea and sky are a distinctive element in his paintings.
Antonio de Simone’s paintings are well known and recognized throughout the seafaring community. His works have been sought out and acquired by many of the world’s foremost museums and collectors.
Stephen Renard was born in Huddersfield, England in 1947. His interest in art and artistic ability were evident at a young age, yet he chose to attend teachers training college at Liverpool University and purse a degree in the sciences. It was at university that he developed a passion for sailing. After graduating, Renard taught for a few years before choosing to dedicate himself to a career in painting.
His first professional work as an artist consisted of painting portraits and illustrating books for children. In the early 1980’s he began painting maritime scenes and soon found his work in high demand. For his first maritime commission, he produced a painting of the “Spithead Review,” honoring the birthday of Queen Elizabeth. Today, Renard concentrates exclusively on maritime scenes and is one of the world’s leading maritime painters. His work is held in many private and corporate collections worldwide.
(1884 – 1966)
An artist, engineer and musician, Wilfred Knox was born in Handsworth, England in 1884. He served in the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War and began painting professionally afterward.
He bore witness to the last days of sail, the re-emerging dominance of British maritime merchant commerce and both world wars. Painting primarily with watercolors and gouache, much of his early work used the pseudonym A.D.Bell. His subjects were mainly the grand Clipper ships, with occasional depictions of Venetian landscapes and the World War I fighter planes he knew so well.
Knox died in 1966. A retrospective of over 50 of his works was held in England in 1987 and his paintings continue to be exhibited throughout the world.
Franklin Stanwood was born at the Portland Maine Alms House on March 16, 1852. On March 17 he was adopted by Captain Gideon Stanwood and spent his early years aboard his vessel, learning to sail and serving as crew on several voyages to Europe, South America, and the West Indies. A self-taught artist, his earliest paintings date to 1873 and depict the coast of Peru, which he visited during his time as a mariner. He retired from his life at sea shortly thereafter to dedicate himself to marine and landscape painting.
Stanwood settled in Portland, Maine and soon gained fame for his depictions of ships on the open sea and Maine coast. His tight, linear style -characteristic of many early 19th century artists – lent itself well to his chosen subjects, with precise rigging and accuracy of the weather’s impact on a ship at sea. Portland was an important cultural center in the middle of the 19th century and Stanwood was a founding member of the Portland Society in 1882 (now Portland Museum of Art). He achieved increasing success, but his life was sadly cut short by tuberculosis and he died at age 36.
(1927 – 2008)
John Bentham-Dinsdale was born in England in 1927. His creative talent was evident from childhood and foreshadowed his career as one of the finest maritime painters of the 20th century.
During WWII, he served as a commissioned officer and pilot in the Royal Air Force. He flew several perilous missions across the English Channel. When the war ended, Dinsdale worked in theatre and television before moving to Yorkshire in 1965. It was then that he made a full-time commitment to marine painting and historical maritime research.
Dinsdale’s wide-ranging research resulted in his painting not only English Clipper ships, but American ones as well. Aided by an extensive marine library, his ships are accurate down to the smallest detail of their rigging and accoutrements. A founding member of the British Sea Painters Group in 1970, his work is included in the books Marine Painting, Dictionary of 20th Century Marine Art, and 20th Century British Marine Painters. His paintings have been widely exhibited in Europe, Australia, Canada, the United States, and the Far East and are coveted by maritime art connoisseur worldwide.
George Nemethy was born in New York in 1952 to the accomplished Hungarian-American painter Albert Nemethy. His father taught him to paint and inspired his love of Persian miniatures, which he sought out and studied during his travels. Traveling became more than a simple journey towards a destination, it became an integral part of his method and painting practice. Indeed, Nemethy often remarks “I travel to paint, and paint to travel.”
His paintings represent a marriage between a blissful state of mind and the highest level of craftsmanship and precision. His magic is in creating an illusion with light, giving the sensation that the light is coming from the painting and not into it. Nemethy’s clouds are radiant and his vessels include finely detailed rigs that he achieves using a two-haired brush. His paintings feel private and peaceful; they are a representation of the essence of tranquility.
Celebrating over 20 years of exclusive representation by the Findlay Galleries, Nemethy’s paintings continue to delight collectors throughout the world.
all images © the gallery and the artist(s)