National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Sternpiece Sternpiece
Rendered by American 20th Century (artist), 1935/1942
watercolor and graphite on paper
overall: 29.1 x 49.9 cm (11 7/16 x 19 5/8 in.) Original IAD Object: 75" long
Index of American Design
1943.8.16368
Not on View
From the Tour: Woodcarving from the Index of American Design
Object 5 of 26

The stern of the ship was usually decorated with a sternboard or sternpiece, such as the one shown here. The eagle was a favorite motif, but other subjects included allegorical figures, the American Indian, and occasionally the shipowner or his wife. This sternpiece was made for the John Penrose, in the early nineteenth century. It shows the owner in a thoughtful pose, surrounded by books, a globe, and a compass, indicating his scholarly and nautical interests.

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