Clipper ARGUS Ship by L. Papaluca The Elder Ca 1890

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ARGUS Ca 1890

Signed by Artist
L. Papaluca, the Elder
(1890 – 1934)

Gouache on paper Signed
Unframed 12 3/4 ” L x 18 3/4″ H Framed 18
1/4″ H x 24 1/4″ L

Presented is a pristine watercolor by the well
known Neapolitan pierhead artist Luca Papaluca of Italy who was quite prolific in the last part of the 19th Century and the
early 20th Century. He is mainly noted for his water colors and Gouache, but in rare occasions worked in oil. His ship and
yacht portraits bring considerable sums. Note the crew in the rigging which are either furling or making sail. The ship is
moving at a good clip and there is a “bone in her teeth”.
The coloring and draftsmanship
are of the highest quality making this offering a exemplary example of Papaluca, the father’s, most desirable form of work

painting in excellent condition. The frame has a couple of chips.

AUCTIONEER CHRISTIE’S sold two interesting Gouache
by Papaluca on May 16, 2007 of
M.Y. Princess, R.C.Y.C., 15 1/4 x 17 1/4 in, and S.Y. Fantome
, R.Y.S., formerly the Barque Belem, built 1896 she is back in French hands and sailing under her original name, 17
1/2 x 27 1/2 in. Princess sold for $3840.00, and Fantome II / Belem, $5280.00 The
prices included fees. Both were titled signed in the lower right as in the Argus painting.

The photographs were taken shooting through glass and the colors are much more vibrant
than shown here and are without the yellow caste.


THE ARTIST: Luca Papaluca, 1890 – 1934, was a
Pierhead Painter from Naples, who primarily painted in gouaches and water colors on paper which mainly show sailing ships,
steamers and yachts on their visits to the Bay of Naples. He also painted historical subjects to a lesser extent. Sometimes,
he painted a pictures showing the vessel in calm conditions and another of the same vessel in stormy weather. On rare occasions
he is known to have painted in oil. His work should not be confused with his son who migrated to the America and was working
as late as the 1960. The son did mostly seascapes and naval historical scenes of lesser quality.

Little is known of the
Argus, but she advertised her fast sailing abilities on cards to attract passenger as a “fast-sailing British Bark”.
One such card says she was sailing under as a “Neutral Flag for Marseilles.” This is important because she sailed
during the American Civil War, probably carrying goods and passengers to France, under French Registry, and neutrality and
speed would both contribute to an uninterrupted voyage.

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