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    Description

    JULES SCHAUMBURG (Belgian, 1839-1886)
    Ships at Sea, 1861
    Oil on canvas
    32 x 41-1/2 inches (81.3 x 105.4 cm)
    Signed and dated lower right: Jules Schaumburg 1861
    Artist's label verso

    PROVENANCE:
    Mr. Robert Ziesmer, Antwerp, Belgium;
    Mr. & Mrs. Robert and Elizabeth Liegeois, Brussels, Belgium, acquired by descent from the above;
    By descent to the present owner.

    The little that is known about the life of marine painter Jules Henri Jean Schaumburg comes from the pages of India and Its Native Princes, an 1876 travel memoir by the French surveyor and photographer Louis Rousselet. Born in Antwerp in 1839, Schaumburg trained in the city's Academy of Fine Arts under the engraver Lucas Schaefels, developing a fine draftsmanship that he would apply to his large-scale seascapes. During the early 1860s, he was working in Belgium and possibly England, and by 1864, he was living in Bombay, where he befriended Rousselet and agreed to accompany him on his journey throughout central and northern India. Schaumburg's Indian subjects include portraits of the royal couple of Baroda, landscapes of Baroda and Calcutta, the shipping industry on the Hooghly River in Calcutta, the Chaturbhuj Temple at Orchha, and the Amber Fort and Palace in Jaipur (collection of the Victorian and Albert Museum, London). At the conclusion of his four-year trip with Rousselet, Schaumburg decided to settle in Calcutta, where he served as an artist for the Geographical Survey of India. Well received in the Indian art community, he was an Associate Member of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal (1874), Acting Principal of the Calcutta Government School of Art, and Chairman of the Sculpture Committee for the First International Exhibition in Calcutta (1883-84). His sudden death from fever in 1886, at the age of forty-seven, helps explain why his body of work was relatively small.

    Painted in 1861 during Schaumburg's early career, before he left for India, Ships at Sea depicts the English fleet - identifiable by the predominant flag, the Red Ensign, and the red naval officers' uniforms -- docked in a harbor. At the time, the British navy was one of the largest in the world, boasting 197 paddle-wheel gunboats, 128 steam cruising vessels, 53 steamships, ten sailing ships, and ten frigates and sloops. Here, Schaumburg features mostly large sailing vessels, accompanied by a sloop on the left, rowboats with sailors in the central foreground, and a small steamboat on the far right. He effectively combines both Neoclassical and Romantic elements to underscore the power of the English fleet: the numerous boats form a classical, balanced triangular composition, and they literally and figuratively emerge into the light from beneath dramatic, roiling clouds. Ships at Sea is the finest example of Schaumburg's non-Indian genre that has come to auction.


    Condition Report*: Framed Dimensions 42.25 X 52.25 Inches
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2014
    10th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,868

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