Oil paintings, Fine art, Maritime Art Greenwich

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A Frigate Coming to Anchor in the Mersey

Oil paintings

Object connections:

Collection Oil paintings, Fine art, Maritime Art Greenwich
User collections The Dockland Revolution by Nationalmaritimemuseum
Gallery locationNot on display

Object details:

Object ID BHC1153
Description An early work by the artist, painted when he was living and working in Liverpool. It is set in the Mersey, looking directly upstream from the river mouth. Perch Rock Fort is shown in the distance to the left of centre with the Bootle shore to the right. In the centre, in a choppy sea, a frigate is shown coming to anchor, close-hauled under shortened sail and flying the 1801-pattern blue ensign. In the distance on the left a naval squadron of the white is already at anchor. The first of these, immediately beyond the frigate's bow, flies the 1801white ensign. The artist has created a sensation of movement in the choppy water by showing spray at the frigate's bow. Figures can be seen on its pitching deck and the sense of movement is reinforced by the angle of the small craft in the right foreground, where the man on the right has his leg fully extended to brace himself. Using a fresh approach the artist has adopted motifs from the Dutch tradition of marine painting, such as the floating spar in the foreground. Technical accuracy and careful delineation are informed by personal experience and intimate knowledge of the sea. This has led to the assumption that Salmon probably supplemented his income as an artist by working in shipping or related industry. He was born in Whitehaven, Cumberland, where his family probably worked as mariners. He moved to London in the late 1790s and then to Liverpool in 1806. In 1828 he left England for Boston, Massachusetts, where he became a successful painter of marine views, ranging from small panels and canvases to theatrical moving panorama scenes. He returned to Europe about 1840 and died between 1848 and 1851, though where is uncertain. The painting is signed and dated 'R.S. 1802', the year that Salmon first exhibited at the Royal Academy.
Date made 1802

Artist/Maker Salmon, Robert
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials oil on canvas
Measurements Frame: 604 mm x 852 mm x 47 mm;Painting: 490 x 740 mm
  • A Frigate Coming to Anchor in the Mersey (BHC1153)
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