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HMS 'Wave' Ashore at St Ives, 1952

Oil paintings

Object connections:

Collection Oil paintings, Fine art, Maritime Art Greenwich
Gallery locationNot on display
VesselsWave 1944

Object details:

Object ID BHC3714
Description A depiction of the Royal Navy 'Algerine'-class minesweeper HMS 'Wave', M385, which broke her moorings at St Ives, Cornwall, in a storm in the early hours of the morning of 30 September 1952. She was holed and flooded when she went ashore on rocks at Westcott's Quay near the Arts Club. The crew were evacuated by breeches buoy and the ship was eventually winched off the rocks by two boom-defence vessels after being ingeniously re-floated by having a barrage balloon stuffed into the hole at low tide and then partly inflated. The artist, who happened to be there, painted the scene from life the morning after the accident, which attracted national attention, and the immediacy of the event is reflected in his handling of the subject. The ship is shown thrust at an angle on to the rocks below a row of terraced houses. The artist has exaggerated the perspective and the empty foreground exaggerates the dramatic effect of the ship's propulsion onto the rocks, and the lucky escape of the houses. Dwarfed by the size of the vessel, a crowd of onlookers is shown on the beach looking up at it. Silas trained in the studio of Walter Sickert. His main interest was marine art and he painted English coastal towns before sailing for Australia in 1907. He returned to England in 1925, where he remained working until his death. He presented this picture to the Museum in 1965, when he recounted the circumstance of its execution. It is signed lower right, 'Ellis Silas'.
Date made 1952

Artist/Maker Silas, Ellis Luciano
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials oil on canvas
Measurements Frame: 655 mm x 757 mm x 70 mm;Painting: 503 x 650 mm
  • HMS 'Wave' Ashore at St Ives, 1952 (BHC3714)
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