Painting of the Packet Ship Star of the East

The Star of the East was built in St. John, New Brunswick by W. & R. Wright. It measured 202 feet long and 1,219 tons. It traded between England, Australia, India and China. It took only 76 days to make its first trip from Liverpool to Melbourne. Star of the East was later bought by James Beazley for transporting British emigrants to Australia. It wrecked at Storing Bay, Africa in 1861.
The painting is a starboard view of Star of the East as it is headed inward from the Mersey River to Liverpool harbor. Several other ships are visible in the distance. In the background the north docks are visible with the Muspratt chimney and Victoria tower. Two pillars in the background are Bootle landmarks, used for navigation.
Artist George Stanfield Walters was born in 1839, the son of Samuel Walters (1811-1882). At age 15 he began painting in the rigging of ship portraits his father was working on. George Walters painted both oil and watercolors, during his career. He was active as a landscape and marine artist until his death in 1924.
British marine painting authority A.S. Davidson questioned whether this painting was actually done by George Walters, and believes it might have been painted by James Harris. Harris was related to the children of Samuel Walters though marriage. Davidson believed that the painting was of a different style then most Liverpool paintings.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1855
Walters, George Stanfield
Physical Description
oil on canvas (overall material)
without frame: 24 1/2 in x 35 1/2 in; 62.23 cm x 90.17 cm
with frame: 34 1/2 in x 45 1/2 in; 87.63 cm x 115.57 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection
See more items in
Work and Industry: Maritime
Cigna Maritime Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History


Add a comment about this object