William Parsons Winchester Dana (American, 1833-1927)
The U.S. Frigate "Constitution" Chased by an English Squadron, July 1812
Unsigned, the scene depicting the exchange of cannon fire between sailing vessels.
Oil on canvas, sight size 43 x 84 in., framed.
Note: This painting was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. William Astor on their honeymoon trip. The purchase and the painting are referenced in the pamphlet William Parsons Winchester Dana: Biographical Note, written by his son, Robert W. Dana, in 1927 in conjunction with a memorial exhibition of Dana's works held at the Gieves Art Gallery in London. Dana painted several scenes of the Constitution engaged in naval battles. Robert Dana describes his father's love of the sea and friendships with other important American artists of the time, including Whistler and Sargent, and states that by 1862 "his reputation was well established and he was elected in that year a member of the National Academy of Design. One of his works was acquired for their collection in Philadelphia, while another was subsequently purchased for the Metropolitan Museum of New York. Other pictures of his found their way into private collections, such as that of the late William Astor ('Escape of the U.S. Frigate Constitution from a British Squadron'), while another painting showing another phase of the same stirring incident was acquired by the late James Gordon Bennett."