One of the leading marine painters of his time, Arthur Quartley captured the poetic, atmospheric qualities of the marine landscape. Sadly, Quartley’s promising life was truncated by his early death, leaving his body of work to eternalize his rare talent and distinctiveness.
Born in Paris, Quartley lived in France and England until 1851, when he and his father moved to the United States. They settled in Peekskill, New York, and Quartley worked as a sign painter and decorator before becoming a professional artist. Largely self-taught, he established a unique connection to the sea that is reflected in the detail and depth of his paintings. He was established enough to open a studio in New York City in 1876, where he became famous for his seascapes of East Hampton, Narragansett Bay, the Isle of Shoals, Cold Spring Harbor, and the North Shore of Massachusetts.
Quartley was an original member of the Tile Club, a social organization that drew artists including Winslow Homer, Julian Alden Weir, and Robert Swain Gifford. Each member was colorfully nicknamed; Quartley was appropriately dubbed “The Marine.” He also served as a member of the Society of American Artists, an Academician of the National Academy of Design, and one of the founders of the Cold Spring Art Colony. He exhibited at the Brooklyn Art Association, the Boston Art Club, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Paris Exposition of 1878; today, his paintings are in the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the New York Historical Society, the Peabody Essex Museum, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, and the Yale University Art Gallery.