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A frigate running before the wind

Fine art

Object connections:

Collection Fine art, Oil paintings
Gallery locationNot on display

Object details:

Object ID BHC1177
Description (Updated, August 2014) The brothers Edward P. and Peter Julius Hoyer were east London marine painters working in the second half of the 19th century. An Edward Hoyer died in Poplar in the second quarter of 1881 aged 33 - suggesting a birth date of about 1848 - though whether this is 'Edward P.' remains to be confirmed. Peter was probably born in 1852 and died of tuberculosis on 29 January 1877 in Mile End, aged 24, at which time Edward P. Hoyer (who, as his brother, reported his death and gave his occupation as 'marine painter') was living in Bethnal Green. The Museum has an example by Peter of the troopship 'Serapis' (BHC3632) signed and dated 1877 - which if correct must be about the last he signed off himself - and, from examples seen over the years, has so far noted Edward as apparently working between about 1870 and 1890, though clearly not after 1881 if he is the man who died then as noted above. The present painting is one of a pair with BHC1178 (of a three-decker off a headland by moolight), both acquired in 1958. It is a consciously historical subject, not contemporary with the artist, and is not technically accurate. For while at a glance it appears to show a late-18th or early 19th century frigate, this has an anachronistic sprit-top and topmast (flying a red jack): both these features had passed out of use by about 1730, which was also just before 'frigates' of the classic form emerged. The vessel in stern view to the left also appears to have a single-masted lateen rig, which might indicate a Mediterranean or Indian Ocean location, albeit the colour is cooler than one might expect in such a case. The picture is quite fluidly painted, with a good sea, and is little more than an oil sketch. It currently has rather old and discoloured varnish, which will at some point be removed, and is signed with initials (E. H.) lower right. We are grateful to David Tracy for supplying the biographical details of the Hoyers now included here.
Date made circa 1870-80

Artist/Maker Edward Hoyer
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials oil on board
Measurements Frame: 190 mm x 255 mm x 50 mm;Painting: 150 mm x 215 mm
  • A frigate running before the wind (BHC1177)
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