Antonio Jacobsen USS Massachusetts (BB-2), oil on canvas painting by Antonio Jacobsen, original 14 in x 20 in (35.5 cm x 50.8 cm)
cjr USS Massachusetts 1850-1921 Danish
(Resident in US)
was a maritime artist born in Copenhagen, Denmark, known as the "Audubon of Steam Vessels". Jacobsen painted over 6,000 portraits of sail and steam vessels, making him "the most prolific of marine artists". Many of his commissions came from sea captains, and Jacobsen was chosen both for the accuracy of his work and the low fees he commanded.
Jacobsen attended the Royal Academy of Design before heading across the Atlantic Ocean. He came to the United States in 1871, and settled in West Hoboken, New Jersey (now Union City, New Jersey), across the Hudson River from Manhattan and New York Harbor, its port filled with ships from America and around the world. Jacobsen got his start painting pictures of ships on safes, and as his reputation grew, he was asked to do portraits of ships by their owners, captains and crew members, with many of his works sold for five dollars.