Shipping on Calm Sea off the European Coast
Thomas Buttersworth, Sr., signed, c.1820
Here, Buttersworth portrays the mix of shipping traffic along the English Channel near the coast in a scene evocative of earlier Dutch paintings. The Dutch sloop, also reminiscent of an earlier era, is juxtaposed with an early steam vessel with auxiliary sails. The lug-rigged open boat on the left is in the French or British style, locating the scene perhaps on the Flemish coast or in the Thames estuary. The effect is a stunning picture. At first glance, it could be from the mid-1700s, yet in fact was painted 50-75 years after that.
Oil on canvas.