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.

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Thomas Buttersworth, Sr.