Fritz Kocher

Fritz Kocher - Trujillo Yacht (Sea Cloud) and Freighter - circa 1958 Oil on Canvas P2664

Regular price $1,700.00

Canvas measures 22 1/4" x 18 1/2", frame 29 3/8" x 25 5/8"

An enormously accomplished harbor scene. Also of great interest is the history of sailing yacht pictured at anchor.

Sea Cloud was built in Kiel, Germany, as a barque for Marjorie Merriweather Post and her second husband Edward F. Hutton of Wall Street's E. F. Hutton & Co. The yacht interiors and features were personally designed by Post, who took a course in marine engineering, and had full size interior mocks-ups done in a New York warehouse. She was launched in 1931 as Hussar V as a replacement for the Hussar IV. At the time of her construction, she might have been the largest private yacht in the world. The maiden voyage was in November 1931, from the shipyard in Germany to Bermuda, where it was received by Hutton and Post on November 30, 1931. 

In 1935, the United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union, Joseph E. Davies, married Marjorie Merriweather Post. Mr. and Mrs. Davies renamed the ship Sea Cloud. Although Mrs. Davies owned the ship, she allowed Mr. Davies to claim ownership of the vessel. Those Davies entertained on the ship included Queen Elisabeth of Belgium. Soviet and United States officials stayed and met on the vessel.  When the war came Mrs Post relinquished use of the yacht to the US Navy where it had a varied and useful career.

Following its return, Sea Cloud received a reassembled rigging in 1947, and a new set of twenty-nine sails in 1949. The vessel was painted white, and a gold eagle painted on the bow. The ship's reconstruction took nearly four years. Marjorie Merriweather Post retained ownership of Sea Cloud in the aftermath of her divorce from Mr. Davies, since she had originally brought the ship into the marriage. After evaluating the cost of running a year-round crew of seventy-two, Marjorie Merriweather Post decided to sell the ship.

Rafael Trujillo, ruler of the Dominican Republic, purchased Sea Cloud in 1955, trading a secondhand Vickers Viscount for it. He renamed the ship Angelita after his daughter Angelita Trujillo. The yacht served as a houseboat and government office. Following Trujillo's assassination on May 30, 1961, his family attempted to smuggle themselves and Trujillo's body to the Canary Islands aboard Angelita, but were forced back by the Dominican Republic's new government. Ending that chapter.

And believe it or not the Sea Cloud is still in service. The ship currently sails in Europe and the Caribbean as part of a fleet of sail cruise ships operated by Sea Cloud Cruises GmbH of Hamburg, Germany. The Sea Cloud is currently the world's oldest ocean going passenger ship.

In his early years, between the ages of 8 and 18, Fritz Kocher, a native of Freiburg, Germany, painted literally hundreds of pictures. He had his academic training in Karlsruhe, Germany, by August Babberger, Albert Haueison, Dillinger (pupil of Cezanne), and Carl Blum. Mr. Kocher was awarded the title of Professor Honores Caura by three galleries in Europe: the National Gallery of Karlsruhe, the Dresden Staats Gallery, and Staats Gallery of Freiburg. In the United States, Mr. Kocher has received 16 awards, which include a special jury Prize and a First Prize during his membership in the Painters and Sculptors Club of Los Angeles. In 1948 he was registered by Mallet, USA, and Dressler’s Handbook of 1930 in Germany.

Source: Nancy Dustin Moure, "Publications in California Art No. 11 , Index to California Art Exhibited at the Laguna Beach Art Association, 1918-1972; 2015 edition"

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