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  • James Gale Tyler (American, 1855-1931) Marine Oil Painting, Ships at Sea Antique
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James Gale Tyler (American, 1855-1931) Marine Oil Painting, Ships at Sea Antique

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James Gale Tyler (American, 1855-1931) Marine Oil Painting on Canvas
"Ships Sailing at Sea at Dawn", signed Lower Left "James G. Tyler"

This beautiful piece features a large vessel crashing through the waves in the diminishing darkness of dawn. The clouds above are troubled and seem to spell an oncoming storm, with the water in an overall choppiness as the men onboard look out with a few lanterns alit. There are other vessels visible in the distance.

A maritime painter and illustrator, who became very well known during his lifetime, James G. Tyler was born in Oswego, New York. His interest in marine subjects began early, as by age 15 he was showing fascination with the ocean and seagoing vessels. He moved to New York City where, studying with A. Cary Smith, he took his only formal art lessons. Tyler's signature painting became known for the emphasis on mood and impression rather than for detailed realism.

About his career, it was written that "No aspect of maritime life escaped Tyler's attention. In addition to painting all types of boats-from old sloops to clipper ships-he painted a variety of seamen, coastal scenes and seascapes." He got much of his subject matter from his yearly travels between 1900 and 1930 to Newport, Rhode Island to paint scenes from the America's Cup Race. Many important illustration commissions as well as painting requests came his way during his lifetime. Among his illustration clients were publishers of Harper's, Century and Literary Digest.

James Tyler was primarily a resident of Greenwich, Connecticut, but the year he died, 1931, he moved to Pelham, New York.

Source: American Art Analog, Volume II, compiled by Michael David Zellman in association with American Art Analog, 1986, p. 513

Measurements: (framed) 23 1/2" high x 19 3/8" high (canvas) 19 7/8" high x 16 1/8" wide

Condition Report:
Minor dings to frame; missing the wire for hanging the frame on the back; there might be some in painting (see sail closeups); patch on verso of canvas, numbered 564. Some yellowing of the varnish. Frame is not original to the piece and it does appear to have been re-stretched.