Lines and Colors art blog

Carl G Evers, marine painting and illustrations of Philadelphia in the 1050s for Philadelphia Electric Company
Carl Evers was a 20th century German/American artist, noted in particular for his marine paintings. He is generally considered one of the foremost American marine painters of the century. His evocation of the action of water, particularly roiled by storms and high waves, is just wonderful.

Evers was also an accomplished illustrator; his work appeared in publications like The Saturday Evening Post, Argosy, Yachting, and The Readers Digest, as well as in advertisements for companies that dealt with marine transport, such as Cunard, Grace Line, Farrell Lines, United Fruit and Moran Towing (biographical notes from J. Russell Jinishian Gallery). For some reason, Evers is rarely mentioned in compendiums of American illustration.

As much as I admire Evers’ marine paintings, I especially enjoy his illustrations. In particular, as a long time resident of the Philadelphia area, I just love his series of stunning portrayals of our beautiful and too often ignored city. These were done for a series of advertisements for the Philadelphia Electric Company in the early 1950s.

Evers was a master of his chosen mediums of watercolor and gouache, bringing to bear their suitability for intricate detail in astonishingly complex images, particularly large scale panoramas of Philadelphia, that, despite their level of detail, never feel forced or stiff.

James Gurney has this morning on his always fascinating blog, Gurney Journey, posted an article with “Five Tips from Carl Evers“, which prompted this post on my part.

The best source I’ve found for Evers’ work is this terrific post from Robin Benson on PastPrint, which has lots of large images, particularly of the Philadelphia Electric series.

Also good are two articles on Today’s Inspiration: ‘Carl G. Evers: “amazing scope and talent”‘ and ‘Carl G. Evers: able to portray “an ocean of almost infinite moods.”‘, by guest author Charlie Allen, supplemented with Lief Peng’s Flickr set. The J. Russell Jinishian Gallery has a selection of available Carl Evers originals.

There are three images on Heritage Auctions, that have slightly larger versions on roll-over. Those with a free HA account can access high-res versions. Those with a Pinterest login can find Evers’ work here; likewise FB here.

There is a long out of print 1975 collection of Ever’s work, Marine Paintings of Carl G. Evers, that is available used on Amazon (also here).

[Suggestion courtesy of James Gurney]


7 responses to “Carl G. Evers”

  1. Brian Harrison Avatar
    Brian Harrison

    Fantastic and astonishing !!!
    My mind boggles at the amount of detail in these paintings – do you have any idea of their original canvas size ?
    Once again I have to admit to being unaware of Carl Evers, but it is never to late to correct this oversight !

    1. Evers also used gouache, which does allow for overpainting and correction, but I’m still in awe of his technique.

      Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find information on the size of the originals. I would assume they’re fairly large, but I don’t actually know.

  2. Wow, never-before seen (for me) work by Evers. The only thing I’ve ever seen was the Ballantine book. Can not thank you enough for this post and the links!

  3. He’s so energetic! One can look at his style and guess the time in American history when he worked: age of self-confidence, maturity, of joyous muscle and clear goals, of belief in American mission.
    I particularly like the painting with the bridge and buildings panorama in front of it.

  4. Tom Upson Avatar
    Tom Upson

    Mr. Evers used watercolor boards which measured 22×30, so his work was that size or smaller. (They are like illustration boards, only thicker, with 140 lb. watercolor paper mounted on them.) I am a watercolorist myself, and a disciple of Evers, whom I met when I was in high school. He showed me the boards he used–he preferred Arches, J. Whatman or Windsor-Newton. I’ve not seen watercolor boards sold in years; I use 300 lb. Arches sheets instead.

    1. Wonderful to know. Thanks, Tom!

  5. Have a wonderful watercolor by him in our November 14th auction.