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Fishing Fleet is an oil painting of Narragansett Bay by the nineteenth-century Providence artist George Whitaker (1841-1916).
Whitaker was a prominent Rhode Island landscape painter and a founding member of the Providence Art Club. He was born in Fall River, Massachusetts, and orphaned at a young age. He eventually joined his uncles, engravers in New York City, where he learned draftsmanship and engraving and work as an engraver into his thirties. During that time he was drawn to the world of fine art and began studying with artists in the Hudson River School. He eventually studied at the Académie Julian in Paris and there became enamored of the work of the Barbizon artists.
Whitaker returned to the United States and settled in Providence in the 1870s. He was the first instructor in oil painting at the Rhode Island School of Design and his paintings are central to the city’s artistic history.
“Fishing Fleet is a wonderful addition to the paintings we have on view at the Eustis Estate,” said Senior Curator of Collections Nancy Carlisle. “Many of these focus on the artistic community in late-nineteenth-century Boston. This painting, along with a small painting by Whitaker’s close friend Edward Bannister that is also on display at the Eustis Estate, provides an opportunity to represent Rhode Island’s artistic legacy.”
“I would “rather paint than eat.”
The Eustis Estate is open from Friday to Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.