Aransas Steam Liner nautical painting signed by Antonio Jacobsen and dated 1905.
This maritime landscape painting is oil on canvas and measures 22 inches tall by 36 inches wide.
In the frame it measures 28 inches tall by 41.5 inches wide.
The Aransas was an important vessel. From the book "From Sail to Steam: Four Centuries of Texas Maritime History, 1500-1900":
A study of the index of vessels licensed at Galveston from 1868 to 1883 shows the improvement in technology as steel hulls began to replace iron. An otherwise unremarkable entry for July 2, 1882, shows the registry of the steamer Aransas, which had originally been registered at New Orleans but was now registered in Texas. At 1156 tons, the Aransas dwarfed most other vessels in the harbor and epitomized the modern steamship, whose profile thereafter changed little more than a half century. The maritime historian James Baughman notes that the Aransas was "a shallow draft ship designed for the shallow approaches to Rockport and Corpus Christi," and in this regard we can consider her a remarkable adaptation to the environment of the Texas coast.
In addition to her steel hull, the Aransas featured a number of mid-nineteenth-century developments, or rather improvements, that made her faster, safer, more efficient, and more dependable than her sidewheel predecessors. Properller driven steamships were easily recognized from any angle by their lack of paddle wheels, which gave their profiles a sleeker look and considerably reduced the width of the ship with the elimination of the bulging paddle wheel housings amidships. This ship revelas a glipse of the futrue; the vessel's smooth, streamlined hull, simplified superstructure, and raked or tilted smokestack portend the "ocean liners" that later dominated international travel until the development of dependable airliners in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The Aransas was built in 1878 by Harlan & Hollingsworth for the Morgan Line; she was 240 feet in length, 35.6 feet wide, and had a hull 18.6 feet deep. The Aransas displaced 1157 tons. Only the vestigal masts on the Aransas tell us she is a nineteenth-century ship, for otherwise she fits the picture of an early twentieth-century liner. Down in the hulls of the more advanced steamships of the era, triple expansion boilers made more efficient use of the steam produced, effectively increasing the speed and the range of ships between fueling.
Antonio Nicolo Gasparo Jacobsen lived between November 2, 1850 and February 2, 1921 and was a Danish-born American maritime artist known as the "Audubon of Steam Vessels".
Jacobsen was born in Copenhagen, Denmark where he attended the Royal Academy of Design before heading across the Atlantic Ocean.
He arrived in the United States in August 1873.
He settled in West Hoboken, New Jersey (now Union City, New Jersey), across the Hudson River from Manhattan and New York Harbor, its port filled with ships from America and around the world.
Jacobsen got his start painting pictures of ships on safes, and as his reputation grew, he was asked to do portraits of ships by their owners, captains and crew members, with many of his works sold for five dollars.
Jacobsen painted more than 6,000 portraits of sail and steam vessels, making him "the most prolific of marine artists".
Many of his commissions came from sea captains, and Jacobsen was chosen both for the accuracy of his work and his low fee.
Exhibitions of Jacobsen's work include a 1996 showing of 45 of his paintings at the National Museum of American History.
In 1995, the Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Virginia held an exhibition that included 80 paintings by Jacobsen.
In conjunction with the exhibition, the museum published a volume by Harold S. Sniffen, the museum's curator emeritus, whose biography titled Antonio Jacobsen's Painted Ships on Painted Oceans, includes some 100 color pictures of the artist's ship paintings.
The public rooms of The Griswold Inn in Essex, Connecticut, the oldest continuously run tavern in the United States, features the largest privately held collection of Jacobsen's paintings.
John McMullen, a naval architect and marine engineer (and former owner of the New Jersey Devils), had a collection that included 75 paintings by Jacobsen, the first two of which were found in the 1940s in the offices of the family ship repair business.
On February 19, 2006, Fetching The Mark, an unsigned painting of the racing yacht Dreadnought attributed to Jacobsen, was sold at auction for $281,000, more than triple the highest price previously paid for one of Jacobsen's works.
The piece had been brought to an Antiques Road Show event in Tampa, Florida, and had originally been thought to be a work of Jacobsen's contemporary James E. Buttersworth, until further research led to a conclusion that it was by Jacobsen.