I am taking the opportunity in this challenge to learn more about artists, their lives and work.
Today in the A to Z Challenge the letter is Q
An Afternoon in August, Coast of Maine, 1878
Arthur Quartley, (1839 – 1886)
sails balloon in wind
languid summer afternoon
wind and sails tango
Arthur Quartley was an American painter known for his marine seascapes. Quartley was born in Paris, moved to Baltimore at age 12. He learned to draw from his father who was an engraver. One might say he was home schooled as dad demanded 2 drawings a week. At 17 he was the apprentice of a sign painter. Quartley began painting marine seascapes of Chesapeake Bay. To pursue his painting more seriously, Quartley moved to New York City in 1875. New York at that time had become a premier center for notable painters. From there he painted seascapes of Long Island bays, New York Harbor, the New Hampshire Isle of Shoals, and Naragansett Bay in Rhode Island. In 1885, he spent a year in Europe and seems to have returned in poor health. By the spring of 1886, he was seriously ill. In the year 1876 Quartley was elected to the National Academy. Quartley’s prominence during his lifetime is illustrated by his inclusion as one of 68 painters in the publication American Painters (1880). The odd thing is that I found only seascapes done by him, no other type of sceneries. In fairness there was not an abundance of his work on the internet either. Then I came across his obituary in the New York Times Archives, which kind of said it all.
This appeared in the New York Times at the time of his death:
Arthur Quartley, the well known artist, died at his home, No. 52 South Washington Square, on Wednesday morning. Mr. Quartley had been sick for a year, suffering from liver trouble. For three months he was confined in his room, where he continued to paint, though constantly losing strength. He finally became so weak that he had an easel placed near his bed and continued his work there, painting for a few minutes at a time and then resting. He was attacked with hemorrhage on Wednesday morning and died in a short time. Mr Quartley was born in paris in 1839 and was the son of a wood engraver. His early childhood was passed in london, but he came to this country when a boy, and began to work as a sign painter and decorator in Baltimore. He was a self-taught artist, having had no masters, and attending no art schools. He earned considerable reputaion as a decorator, but did not become known as an artist until after he came to this city in 1875. A large picture, showing a sea of rolling waters beating against rocks first brought him into notice.the painting was exhibited at the Academy of Design, and now belong to Weilesley Collezo. Among his other most important works were Calm Days, Isles of Shoals, and Evening at Narrangansett, 1875. Low tide 1876, Making the Landing. White Island, Isles of Shoals sold to John B Thoms of Baltimore, Mornng Effect, North River sold to John Taylor Johnston, and An Afternoon in August, Coast of Maine, 1878. His Morning Effect was sent to the Paris Exposition in 1878. Another large work of his was called the Queen’s Birthday in New York Harbor. If represented all the flags flying on the vessels. He preferre that he work should be known as New York Harbor on a Gala Day.
Mr Quartley had a studio for some time at No.1 Union Square. He painted constantly and his numerous pictures are scattered all over the world. In 1882 and 1884 he traveled in Europe. His last finished painting, A Scene on the Thames, is now in the American Art Association’s galleries. He was elected a member of the Artists’ Fund Society in 1876, but did not become a member of the National Academy until May 12 of the present year (1886). His wife died some years ago, but a son and two daughters survive him. The funeral will take place at 11 A.M. tomorrow at the Academy of Design.
The New York Times
Published May 21, 1886
Quite a detail obituary I thought. I don’t think they are that detailed now.
Brooklyn Museum- On Synepuxent Bay, Maryland, 1876 Arthur Quartley
Early Moonlight Naragansett Bay 1877
New York Times, Archives