Do you love breathtaking works of fine art? Are you fascinated by 19th century history? Do you like to feast your eyes on beautiful tall ships, sailing yachts and ocean scenery? There’s a special exhibit in San Diego that you positively must see!
I was surprised to discover that the Maritime Museum of San Diego, located downtown on the Embarcadero, is featuring a fantastic exhibit of marine art masterpieces by the famous painter James Edward Buttersworth. Buttersworth is considered to be one of the most important painters of the nineteenth century. His portraits of tall ships, racing yachts, steamships and other vessels from that era are beautiful works of genius, resplendent with light, energy and grace. About 600 of his classic paintings exist today, and the Maritime Museum has 24 amazing examples on display!
The exhibition is titled “Illuminating the Sea: The Marine Paintings of James E. Buttersworth, 1817-1894.” The collected paintings, on loan from Mystic Seaport until May 31, 2016, are so dynamic, detailed and glowing with beauty, they’ll make a permanent impression in your mind. His images of sky and sea are realistic and alive. Colors are rich and subtle; stormy waters seem to spray off a painted canvas; white sails shine. Several paintings depict yachts racing together, engaged in historic competitions that include the America’s Cup, an event that became important in San Diego’s more recent past.
Another interesting aspect of the exhibition is the inclusion of a modern Buttersworth forgery by Ken Perenyi. Visitors to the museum can become a detective, and do their best to uncover the cleverly made fake!
Go enjoy this exhibit of rare, fantastic paintings, then prepare to spend a good hour or two exploring the many historic ships owned by the Maritime Museum of San Diego. You’ll find yourself within a magical world. A world that gently floats upon shining water, alive with history, adventure, beauty and wonder!
Here are a couple bonus photographs! I took them this morning during a short walk before heading to work!
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