The U.S. Battleship "Kearsarge" in Portsmouth Harbor
Medium: Watercolor, gouache, and graphite on illustration board
Dimensions: sheet: 14 1/8 × 21 in. (35.9 × 53.3 cm)
Illustration Citation: Collier's Weekly, July 25, 1903
Credit Line: John Sloan Memorial Foundation, 1982
About: Henry Reuterdahl specialized in illustration of ships and the sea. He accompanied the American Fleet on voyages to South American and the Mediterranean. As artistic director of the U.S. Navy in World War One, he created numerous paintings for wartime posters.
The battleship Kearsarge was the flagship of the North Atlantic Fleet in the early years of the twentieth century, welcomed with celebrations at ports such as Portsmouth, England, and making calls at many Caribbean and European ports to impress viewers with the power of the U. S. Navy. The imposing ship serves as a backdrop for several implied human-interest plots in the foreground - the young seaman with his polished shoes, and the old one with his bottle, distracted dock workers, and recalcitrant chidlren. Areas of blue watercolor add depth to an otherwise almost monchrome scene.
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