Fine art, Oil paintings, Maritime Art Greenwich

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Shipyard at Dumbarton

Fine art

Object connections:

Collection Fine art, Oil paintings, Maritime Art Greenwich
User collections Britain and the Sea by jobug
Gallery locationNot on display

Object details:

Object ID BHC1792
Description This picture shows iron-framed ships under construction in Archibald McMillan and Son's yard. This firm built some of the largest sailing ships on the Clyde. During 1855 two ships, the 'Ardberg', 925 tons, and the 'Jane Jack Mitchell', 980 tons, were launched from this yard and may be the ships shown here under construction. Scottish sailing barges, 'gabbarts', were also built here. The painting's view is taken from a point opposite Dumbarton Quay. The south-west portion of the quay on the extreme left contains a number of unloaded tree trunks used for ship construction. The shipyard was separated from the burial ground of the parish church by a wall, tree-lined, on the church side. These trees are evident here and through them the steeple of the parish church is discernible. To the left of the stacked timber is the river entrance to the churchyard and the lane leading to the High Street. To the south of the yard part of the Victoria shipbuilding yard is visible. Castlegreen House on Castle Rock is sited among the trees to the east of the rock, with the castle at the peak. A number of vessels in various stages of construction, together with carpenter's tools, shavings and so on, dominate the foreground. To the right of a large anchor lying on the shore, children play down to the water's edge, where three sail a toy yacht. From the town a stream of women with bundles of washing join those already on the shoreline washing themselves or their laundry. Washing has been strung up to dry and a woman tends a large pot boiling over a fire. The barges to the left and in the centre have men on board and smoke coming from their chimneys indicate that they probably live aboard. Amidst the industrial setting of the boatyard, people conduct their daily lives. In the centre distance, on the left bank, smoke rises from factory chimneys. Such industry is in marked contrast to the calmer landscape to the right where a rowing boat moves across the river and a paddle steamer approaches. Bough began life as a shoemaker and lawyer's clerk in Carlisle, before becoming an artist and well-known theatre scene-painter in Manchester and Glasgow. This is one of his most ambitious works. It has been inscribed, signed and dated in the lower left corner 'Wood and Iron Shipyard / Dumbarton / Sam Bough / 1855'.
Date made 1855

Artist/Maker Bough, Samuel
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. Caird Fund.
Materials oil on canvas
Measurements Painting: 1346 mm x 1778 mm; Frame: 1714 mm x 2158 mm x 160 mm x 62 kg
  • Shipyard at Dumbarton (BHC1792)
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