The Surf at Newport (Rhode Island). c. 1906. Oil on canvas. 17 x 24 (framed 26 x 34). Lined; some craqueleur; otherwise fine condition. Carved gold leaf frame. Signed lower left. $5,500.
Newport is a city in the New England state of Rhode Island, set on Aquidneck Island. Its yacht-filled harbor hosted the America’s Cup, a renowned annual regatta, for many years. In 1906, Sheppard was a crew member of the racing yacht Tamerlane on the Newport Bermuda race. He painted the Tasmerlane in the Gulf Stream in that year.
Warren Sheppard (1858-1937) enjoyed careers as an artist, illustrator, yacht designer, and navigator. He was born in Greenwich, New Jersey, on the Delaware River, an area associated with shipping since colonial times. His father was a ship captain and Sheppard made many trips with him. Sheppard became active in yacht racing, designing his own yacht and twice commanding the yacht "Tamerlane" when it won the New York-to-Bermuda race. He wrote the authoritative work "Practical Navigation," used as a standard text by the United States Naval Academy. By his mid-thirties Sheppard had become a magazine illustrator of ships and marine scenes. He was an expert on the design and rigging of early ships, and his paintings were accurate in every detail. His only formal art training were of classes in perspective drawing at New York's Cooper Union. In 1874 he began to exhibit his work at the Brooklyn Art Association. In 1879 he spent four months sketching the Mediterranean ports of Gibraltar, Genoa, Naples, and Messina. In 1884 Sheppard was awarded a gold medal at the Denver Exposition. From 1888 to 1893 he traveled to Paris and Venice to study painting. Sheppard exhibited at the Brooklyn Art Association, the National Academy of Design, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Denver eXposition and the St. Louis Exposition. His paintings are in the collections of the Mystic Seaport Museum, the Peabody Essex Museum, the Mariners' Museum, and the Museum of the City of New York.
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