Plate I “The Early Racers”
Frederic Schiller Cozzens (American 1846-1928) was an immensely talented, self-taught marine artist. His specialty was watercolor paintings and his popularity grew with his paintings of the early New York Yacht Club boats and racing events. He was usually commissioned by the boat's owners to create lasting portraits of their vessels.
In 1884 Cozzens decided to offer his paintings to a wider audience in the form of color lithographs called chromolithographs. This printing technique utilizing various lithographic stones for various colors, beautifully replicated the appearance of an oil or watercolor painting, and allowed the image to be printed with colored inks, rather than being hand colored.
He produced a portfolio of 27 chromolithographs titled, American Yachts, Their Clubs and Races. The portfolio was accompanied by a text written by Lieutenant James Douglas Jerrold Kelley, describing the lithographs. Cozzens used arguably the best art printer of the day, Armstrong of Boston to produce the lithographs and the set was issued by Charles Scribner's & Sons of New York.
“The Early Racers” depicts the brave America, winner of the first International Race in1851, with the Maria, Una and The Ray of the New York Yacht Club. The schooner America was designed and built by George Steers for six members of the New York Yacht Club. This yacht came to epitomize the finest racing craft sailed in the spirit of sportsmanship in competition. It is obvious the great esteem Cozzens held for this boat, as he depicted the America much larger than the others, her sails and masts drawn with precision.
13 3/4 x 20 inches sight, 22 1/2 x 29 inches framed
A few pin dot stains, otherwise excellent condition.