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James Gale Tyler (American, 1855-1931) "Fishing by Moonlight"

ITEM #: 708GPQ14

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Executed in oil on canvas, signed "James G. Tyler" lower right
Item # 708GPQ14

This fine scene depicts a small fishing vessel returning under moonlight to the harbor from a night of fishing.  A small lighthouse bears light in the background, this reflecting against the crests of tiny waves across the shimmering water while shadows of two other vessels are visible in the distance.  At least three figures huddle on the small fishing vessel with a lamp lit before the mast, the clouds opening up above them to cast rays of moonlight on the waters behind the boat.  The work is signed in his typical blocked script lower right “James G. Tyler".

James Gale Tyler was born in Oswego, NY in 1855 and studied under marine artist Archibald Cary Smith. The majority of his working career was spent in Greenwich, CT before moving to Pelham, NY just prior to his death in 1931. An incredibly prolific artist who enjoyed strong commercial success during his lifetime, Tyler was a member of both the Greenwich Society of Artists and Brooklyn AC. His style is distinct and shows a touch of impressionism in his depiction of marine life, his work always showing a complexity that is subtle with his light impasto and incredible depth of color. His neat and tidy approach to symmetry in his work masks some of the enthusiasm visible in a closer examination of his brush strokes. Besides being a painter and regular illustrator of marine art studies for Literary Digest, L. Prang, Harper's, Century and Truth among other publications, Tyler was also a writer.


  • Mantle Fielding’s Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers, Opitz, 1983, p. 952
  • E. Benezit Dictionary of Artists, Vol. XIII, Gründ, 2006, p. 1300

Measurements:  17 5/8” W x 21 5/8” H [frame]; 13 7/8” W x 17 7/8” H [canvas]

Condition Report:
Professionally conserved in the last decade or so, minor restoration to the left of the bow and in the clouds to the right of the sail visible under UV.  Contemporary frame.