James Gale Tyler

Title:  “Fisherman Off Narragansett Bay”

Artist:  James Gale Tyler (American, 1855-1931.)

Medium: Oil on canvas.

Size: 22” high x 30” wide.

Date: Circa 1890-1920.

Signature: Signed lower left.

About:  Narragansett, Rhode Island. James Tyler rarely painted people.

Condition: Cleaned. Minor in-painting in secondary sky. Relined.

Item  A956

James Gale Tyler Biography 

James Gale Tyler (1855-1931) was a maritime painter and illustrator, who became very well known  during his lifetime. He was born in Oswego, NY. Underscoring his success and prominence is that fact that his signature appeared on at least 100 forged paintings. Later, at the height of his career, he successfully took legal action against forgers through the District Attorney of New York City.

His interest in marine subjects began early, as by age 15 he was showing fascination with the ocean and seagoing vessels.  He moved to New York City where, studying with A. Cary Smith, he took his only formal art lessons.  Tyler’s signature painting became known for the emphasis on mood and impression rather than for detailed realism.

About his career, it was written that “No aspect of maritime life escaped Tyler’s attention.  In addition to painting all types of boats-from old sloops to clipper ships-he painted a variety of seamen, coastal scenes and seascapes.”

He got much of his subject matter from his yearly travels between 1900 and 1930 to Newport, Rhode Island to paint scenes from the America’s Cup Race.  Many important illustration commissions as well as painting requests came his way during his lifetime.  Among his illustration clients were publishers of Harper’s, Century and Literary Digest.

James Tyler was primarily a resident of Greenwich, Connecticut, but the year he died, 1931, he moved to Pelham, New York.


 A956 James Tyler Fishing Lobster Sign