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Noteworthy Sale: Roger King Fine Art

Noteworthy Sale: Roger King Fine Art, Antonio Jacobsen, <i>The Mount Hope</i>
Sold to a private collector
The Mount Hope
Antonio Jacobsen (1850-1921)
Oil on canvas, 22 x 36 inches
Signed and inscribed lower right; dated 1902
Courtesy of Roger King Fine Art, Newport, Rhode Island

Antonio Jacobsen painted hundreds of ship portraits, sometimes painting the same vessel several times. The Mount Hope is one of three known versions by Jacobsen, and represents his work at its finest. Departing from his flattened "broadside" style, Jacobsen depicts the ship from an angled view, creating an illusion of deeper dimensionality. The painting's impressive details include the figures of dozens of tourists and crew members, vivid flags, and distant ships and shorelines. An outstanding feature is Jacobsen’s remarkable rendition of the ocean, executed in unexpected but completely convincing hues of pink and ivory.

The Mount Hope operated from 1888 to 1935 and was considered the finest excursion steamer on the Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound, running daily between Providence, Block Island, and Newport. The ship was outfitted with a magnificent central staircase of carved mahogany, luxuriously appointed staterooms, sitting rooms, and other amenities for the sophisticated traveler. The last of the grand side-wheel steamers to serve Block Island, the Mount Hope was destroyed at dock during the great hurricane of 1938, and Jacobsen's paintings are the best surviving documentation of her glory days.

This painting surely ranks as one of his finest works to memorialize the great age of steam travel.

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