Big Seas at High Water by Frederick Judd Waugh

  • The marine painter Frederick Judd Waugh captures the grandness of the sea in this exceptional oil
  • With its dramatic light and color, the work is a celebration of the awe-inspiring power of nature
  • His expert rendition of the waves and water set him apart from other painters of his generation
  • Similar works by the artist are in the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Met
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 31-3726

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Frederick Judd Waugh
1861-1940 | American

Big Seas at High Water

Signed "Waugh" (lower right); titled (en verso)
Oil on canvasboard

The great marine painter Frederick Judd Waugh captures the grandness of the New England coastline in this exceptional oil painting. With its dramatic lighting and vibrant use of color, the work is a celebration of the awe-inspiring power of the sea. While the geological detail of the rocks demonstrates the artist’s technical skills, it is his expert rendition of the waves and water that sets him apart from other marine painters of his generation. Like Winslow Homer who came before him, Waugh possessed an indelible ability to capture both the grace and the ferocity of nature's forces with a technical acuity that was unmatched.

Born in Philadelphia in 1861, Waugh was the son of the well-known portrait painter Samuel Waugh, a respected artist whose subjects included the likes of Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant. Waugh followed in his father's footsteps, studying at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts under Thomas Eakins and later at the Académie Julian under the great William-Adolphe Bouguereau. Eventually, Waugh made his way to the island of Sark on the English Channel, where he began his career as a painter of seascapes.

Waugh eventually returned to the United States to settle in New Jersey, and he made a successful career for himself; his work was particularly admired by the art collector and railroad financier William T. Evans, who briefly supported the artist following his return. In 1918, he served as a camouflage artist for the U.S. Navy during World War I. His masterful rendition of crashing waves made him uniquely suited to the position, and records show that only one ship with his camouflage was lost during the war. Today, his works can be found in important museums such as the Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, D.C.) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York).

Canvas: 24 7/8" high x 29 7/8" wide
Frame: 29 5/8" high x 34 3/4" wide
Big Seas at High Water by Frederick Judd Waugh
Period: 1816-1918
Origin: America
Type: Paintings
Depth: 2.0 Inches
Width: 34.75 Inches
Height: 29.63 Inches
Canvas Width: 29.875 Inches
Canvas Height: 24.875 Inches

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