Title: “Westward and Meteor IV, Cowes Week, 1910”
Size: Height 43 1/4 inches Width 67 1/4 inches (framed)
Renowned as one of Britain’s top marine artists, Stephen Renard was born at Huddersfield, England in 1947, and graduated from the Liverpool University with a degree in the natural sciences. He spent three years at training college and while head of Biology in a Liverpool school, he developed a passionate interest in sailing. Abandoning teaching, Renard began to make a living as a portrait artist and became a freelance illustrator. Renard then decided to concentrate on yachting subjects, and over the years he has amassed a great following for his superb examples of early 20th century yacht races. In addition, he was asked to work for the Royal Thames Yacht Club. For his first commission, he produced a painting of the Spithead review, honouring the birthday of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.
This magnificent example of Renard’s work depicts Westward and Meteor IV maneuvering about prior to the start of a race, threading their way through the rows of yachts moored in the Cowes roads for “The Week” -- Westward, foreground, Meteor IV to windward. Westward was designed by Nathaniel G. “Nat” Herreshoff, who was considered by many to be the father of modern sailboat design and the most famous and most accomplished American yacht designer of all time. Owned by Alexander S. Cochran, an avid yachtsman, and skippered by the legendary Charlie Barr, she sailed from the United States in 1910, stopped in the United Kingdom for a refit, then sailed to Kiel for the regatta. Westward swept the board and returned to England to compete again in the Solent where she proved to be unbeatable. Sailing fast, strong and proud, she took first place in all eleven starts during her first season. Westward’s performance so enchanted the Kaiser that by 1912, she was purchased and raced in the Baltic as Hamburg ll. In 1919 Westward was purchased as a war prize by the flamboyant London financier Clarence Hatry, who restored her original name. Meteor IV was the first major commission by the German Emperor from Max Oertz, who became the pre-eminent yacht designer in pre-World War I Germany.