James Buttersworth's paintings of yacht races express the excitement and beauty of the sport. R. Grassby has written. "In contrast to other seascapists, whose works were usually static, Buttersworth also had the knack of conveying the illusion of movement...Verve, vitality, and spontaneity make his yachting scenes much more than decorative records of a rich man's sport. His buoyant ships rise and fall in constantly changing seas. His clippers cut through the sea with real momentum and wakes. His heeling yachts convey the thrill of speed and sailing under full canvas." (Ship, Sea, and Sky: The Marine Art of James Edward Buttersworth, New York, 1994, pp. 46-47)
Buttersworth, perhaps, is this country's preeminent marine artist and certainly one of the finest American painters of the sailing vessel. Throughout his life, ships and the conditions in which these crafts moved were a constant muse. In the present work, his use of chiaroscuro and thrusting diagonals help to animate the drama, and he emphasizes his strong draftsmanship and nautical accuracy.