Yacht Race

James E. Buttersworth

Huntington Museum of Art

Huntington Museum of Art

Yacht Race demonstrates the artist's great skill in portraying the excitement and drama of sailing contests. Using sharp diagonal lines to emphasize the awesome power of the wind, he choreographs the vessels as they sway harmoniously under its spell. The dramatic lighting that was a hallmark of Buttersworth's work is evident here, seen in the dark unsettled sky, the patterned shadows on the sails and the sparkling, variegated surface of the water. Lending an air of further drama is the triple-decked warship that lurks in the background, perhaps a subtle reminder from the artist that the seas are not always for pleasure. The remarkable detail and pleasing design of this small painting testify to the skills of Buttersworth, skills that elevated him above the many anonymous painters that pursued the same subject matter during his lifetime.

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  • Title: Yacht Race
  • Creator: James Edward Buttersworth
  • Physical Dimensions: w14 x h8 in.
  • Credit Line: Bequest of Janet Seaton Humphrey
  • Type: painting
  • Medium: oil on panel