Art Gallery of Old Ship Portraits and Marine Paintings

Ship Portrait of the German Brigg *Ottomar - Capt. C. Lofgren* under sail off Cuxhaven 1839 - the vessel is shown at good weather conditions near the entrance to the North Sea - Oil on canvas, 42 by 54 cm (16 1/2 by 21 1/4 inch), with frame 55 x 66 cm (21 1/2 by 26 inch) - signed, dated and inscribed with title, numberflag "52." at first mast - relined, cleaned, retouch, paint is thin in places, generally in good condition considering the age, new 24 Carat gilt frame - Private Collection New York City, USA

Note: The ship is shown off Cuvhaven with the lighthouse, other shipping in the background. Romantic handling of the sky and detailled and fine execution of the brigg. An early painting of medium size by well known Lorenz Petersen, who is represented in numerous museums around the world. .

Lorenz Petersen
(German 1803-1870)
* Photo Copyright is with the FineArtEmporium *

Presented by the FineArtEmporium in Hamburg.

Lorenz Petersen (German, 1803-1870) - Portrait of the brigg "Ottomar" in the North Sea - Photo Copyright.

Following are shown some more photos of the painting:


and a detail photo:

This is an early and quite romantic ship portrait by Lorenz Petersen. A sky in such warm colors cannot often be found at paintings by Petersen. This brigg has been built 1835 in Newhaven and the oldfashion bow and and the white line along the hull indicates it as a typical vessel of this time. Condition of the painting is good to fair, it has an old relining and repaint in places, mainly in the sky and at two sails. As expected with a painting of this age (166 years) there are signs of age and imperfections, including light age crackle. The frame is a modern real gilted (24 carat) frame.

The "Ottomar" was measured at 247 tons and built of oak and hard pine wood. It must have been a good ship because it had an insurance rating of 3/4 trust (a high ranking) which meant that it was insured for long trips, eg. to the Pacific or Indian Ocean (around Cape Hoorn or around Cape of Good Hope). Home port of "Ottomar" was Altona (in the West of Hamburg), which was until 1864 under Danish regulation, therefore the vessel flies the Danish ensign. The ensign on the first mast (number 52) indicates the identity of the brigg. The owner was until 1843 H.L. Hesse in Altona and the brigg was commanded by Capt. Lofgren (as mentioned on the painting lower left). In 1843 "Ottomar" was sold to shipping company Schön in St. Thomas (Westindian Island).

Trips of the vessel were recorded as far as Cuidad Bolivar (South America), Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Trinidad, Dublin etc. Most of the travels were to the Caribbean. We are grateful to Mr. Dietrich for providing information about the ship and its history.

The artist Lorenz Petersen is widely known as a quality ship portrait artist and he is represented in numerous maritime museums. He was often working together with his half-brother P.C. Holm and his son Heinrich Petersen was trained by him and painted from the mid-1850s on fine ship portraits as well. For more information please refer to our book Ship Portrait Artists or other reference books about the subject.