BIOGRAPHY - George Mears (1826 - 1906)
George Mears was a painter of ship portraits, who flourished during the late 19th century; specializing in steam and sail ships. His seascapes are well handled, but the true importance of these paintings lies in the accurate portrayal of the ships details. His immense talent enabled him to secure employment as the official ships portrait painter to the then major cross-channel shipping company, The Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company; painting all the company's cross-channel ships during his employ.
During his lifetime, Mears received many private commissions including the Royal Yachts: Victoria & Albert I & II. These were amongst his earliest paintings. In the painting Royal Yacht Victoria off Cowles, Mears illustrated an American racing schooner Enchantress which raced in British waters in 1874 & 1875. His initial G. has sometimes been mistaken for S. Also, paintings which are signed P. Mears, such as Victoria & Albert II, ("Victoria & Albert I" is signed G. Mears) should probably be attributed to him.
Peabody Museum, Salem, MA
Mariners Museum, Newport News, VA
National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London