The Brig _Georgiana_
Unframed: 29 x 36in. (73.7 x 91.4cm) and Framed: 32 x 40in. (81.3 x 101.6cm)
Acquisition funded by Winthrop Rockefeller
Acc. No. 1956.111.3
A profile portrait of a two-masted brig sailing from right to left. Traces of land are visible beyond the vessel. Several ships are visible in the distance at far left. A black-painted reserve at the bottom of the canvas has a lengthy inscription in script in white paint, identifying the subject of the painting as the "Brig Georgiana." The brig has a black hull with a band of white. Her masts and boom are painted red, and the lifeboat and structures on the vessel are painted bright yellow. Seven men in blue are visible working on board the vessel. She flies an American flag off the stern sail and a white flag with a pair of crossed diagonal linesin blue on the aft mast.
Label:The brig Georgiana was built in 1827 in Duxbury, Massachusetts, and owned by Frederick W. Tracy of Boston. By 1845, William Crispin was captain of the vessel which was registered in Boston. In January of 1847, the Georgiana, was reported in a New Orleans paper as being in Tampico, Mexico, as part of the United States-Mexican War that lasted from 1846-1848.
James Guy Evans created this portrait of the Georgiana in 1846 likely before the ship set sail for Mexico. Evans was born in New York City and worked as a shoemaker before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1829. After his military career, he settled in New Orleans, where he worked as a painter from 1846 to 1859. He advertised that he and his partner did house, ship and sign painting as well as historical, marine and ornamental painting. The careful execution of the complex network of ropes, chains and other lines comprising the rigging of the Georgiana speak to Evan’s skill as a ship painter. A full-rigged ship of this size could have upwards of two hundred principal lines, whose name and function each crewman needed to know, and whose timely adjustments could save a mast in a storm or catch the faintest breeze in calm waters.
Provenance:Ownership prior to The Old Print Shop is unknown.
Inscription(s):In white paint in flowing script on a black-painted reserve at the bottom of the canvas, there are two inscriptions. At far right is the word "Evans". Centered in the border is a two-line inscription reading, "Brig Georgiana of Boston, Wm Crispin Comr leaving B. Santiago in Company with Barque Tarquin/Shrs Water Witch and Brave Novr 12th 1846."