Gouache on paper, ca. 1860s. Attributed to port painter Luigi P. Renault of Leghorn (b. 1845). The JOHN SPEAR was built in Thomaston, Maine in 1849, sailed out of Rockland, Maine in the 1850's, and was home-ported out of New Orleans in 1861 when it sailed to Italy as the subject of this painting. Caption reads, in script: Ship "John Spear" from New Orleans, entering the port of Naples, March 9th 1861, J.S. Ingraham, Commander..... Bold and colorful and striking, this painting reflects the pride of American maritime commerce in the 19th century. The American flag, and the ship banner, stand out beautifully. Notable on the right is a ship bearing a mix of paddle/sail propulsion, as the transition occurred from wind to steam in the mid-19th century. Also note the crew members and passengers on the deck. Provenance: Sold in 1972 by Samuel L. Lowe, Jr, Boston, MA. This painting has been in a Rochester, NY collection since then. Pictured in the Magazine Antiques, page 339, February, 1972. Accompanied by a portfolio of background papers, and the Magazine Antiques from which it was originally pictured. Frame size about 36 inches x 28 inches. This painting has a stunning decorative and historical presence. Ask for high res photos to appreciate it.
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