James E. Buttersworth (1817–1894)
A Gaff Rigged Racing Cutter, c. 1893
Oil on canvas, 12 x 20 in.
Signed lower right: Jas. Buttersworth
Provenance: Hirschl & Adler Galleries, Inc., New York, 1981; private collection, 1981-2016
In this painting, Buttersworth focuses on a sole racing cutter against a cloudy, gray backdrop and dark seas. Buttersworth meticulously renders the sailing rig, in which the sail is four-cornered (fore-and-aft rigged) and controlled by a spar (gaff). This representation exhibits Buttersworth’s superior draftsmanship and knowledge of naval architecture. He balances the scene with the shore off in the far distance, as well as other blurred ships in the horizon.