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American Art - James Tyler 1904: Cape Ann Fisherman - Antique Oil Painting
56 x 71 cm (22 x 28 inches) oil on canvas, framed to an overall size of 70 x 85 cm. Two invisible pin holes in the sky, otherwise in excellent condition.
This beautiful black and white painting of a captain at the tiller of his fishing boat in heavy seas was exhibited at the prestigious Salmagundi Club, as indicated by a label on the stretcher.
Paintings of nautical scenes depicted from aboard are scarce, especially compared to the huge production of ship portraits by marine artists such as Tyler himself. James Gale Tyler (1855 - 1931) was already recognized during his lifetime as a master of the genre, and this is a very individual work in his production.
This biography from the Archives of AskART: A maritime painter and illustrator, who became very well known during his lifetime, James G. Tyler was born in Oswego, New York. Underscoring his success and prominence is that fact that his signature appeared on at least 100 forged paintings. Later, at the height of his career, he successfully took legal action against forgers through the District Attorney of New York City.
His interest in marine subjects began early, as by age 15 he was showing fascination with the ocean and seagoing vessels. He moved to New York City where, studying with A. Cary Smith, he took his only formal art lessons. Tyler's signature painting became known for the emphasis on mood and impression rather than for detailed realism.
About his career, it was written that "No aspect of maritime life escaped Tyler's attention. In addition to painting all types of boats-from old sloops to clipper ships-he painted a variety of seamen, coastal scenes and seascapes."
He got much of his subject matter from his yearly travels between 1900 and 1930 to Newport, Rhode Island to paint scenes from the America's Cup Race. Many important illustration commissions as well as painting requests came his way during his lifetime. Among his illustration clients were publishers of Harper's, Century and Literary Digest.
James Tyler was primarily a resident of Greenwich, Connecticut, but the year he died, 1931, he moved to Pelham, New York.
Source: American Art Analog, Volume II, compiled by Michael David Zellman in association with American Art Analog, 1986, p. 513.
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