Each signed and variously dated 'Fred S. Cozzens 83/84' in the plate (lower left)
Published by Scribner & Son, NY 1884
Literature: A. Jacobsen, Frederic Cozzens, Marine Painter, New York, 1982. pp. 48-97.
J.D. Jerrold Kelley, American Yachts Their Clubs and Races, New York, 1884 (with illustrated line drawings of the lithographs).
Frederic S. Cozzens was a prominent maritime artist known for his illustrations of sailing ships, yachts and marine scenes. Like nearly every other great marine artist, he was thoroughly acquainted with every aspect of ship construction and the art of sailing. He is best known for his paintings of great American yachts of the latter half of the 19th century, which were commissioned by many of New York's leading yachtsmen.
Cozzens studied at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Upstate New York, but was basically a self-taught artist, working primarily in watercolor, pen and ink and gouache. He is most closely associated with New York State, and spent his last years living in Staten Island. Cozzens contributed illustrations and yacht portraits to many magazines, most notably Harper's Weekly.
Frederic Schiller Cozzens started his career in the 1860's as a maritime artist always painting in watercolor. By 1883 his work was so sought after that he decided to pursue other mediums and to expand the availability to the public. In 1884 Cozzens popularized his work in the form of sets of color lithographs. His training and technique in watercolor lent itself to the medium of lithography. The first of these sets was a brilliant series of twenty-six yachting prints published by Charles Scribner's & Son, NY entitled "American Yachts, Their Clubs and Races". They were published using a new color lithography technique "chromolithography" which allowed all the colors to be printed rather than the earlier use of hand-coloring. The series of twenty-six prints was accompanied by a separate text written by Lieutenant James Douglas Jerrold Kelley, which describes in detail each scene represented. Lieutenant Kelley's book describes the events shown in each plate. The book contains a good description of the race and general information about the history of yachting. It also gives technical descriptions about boats and owners. This collection of lithographs includes portraits of more than one-hundred craft, including sloops, steamers, schooners and ice-boats. The scenes depict some of yachting's most memorable images of regattas.
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