James E. Buttersworth

(1817-1894)

James E. Buttersworth, born in 1817, was a leading 19th century ship painter. His father had been an English painter and in generations to come, Buttersworth's son would also become a painter. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1845 and worked for Currier & Ives, who published his ship pictures as popular prints. By the 1850s, Buttersworth developed a strong reputation for his depictions of clipper ships and yachts, seen in the New York Harbor. His specialty was in naval ships, which he sometimes depicted in battle. Buttersworth's work is noted for it's precise detail and romanticized settings with churning sea and rolling storm clouds. He would also accentuate the length of a yacht by painting full sails in a diagonal composition. James Buttersworth died in 1894.