British 18th C, except portraits, London: Artists and Subjects, Maritime Subjects 5 Can we prove the case that this view of Deptford is by John Cleveley the elder, not the younger?

Topic: Artist

Pieter van der Merwe contacted us to suggest that this view of Deptford is actually by Cleveley the elder, not the younger.

Edward Stone, Entry reviewed by Art UK


Pieter van der Merwe, Greenwich Curator Emeritus, has recently added: ‘I'm sure it’s one of the John Cleveleys (rather than attributed to). The problem is the relative lack of oils by the Younger. It’s more like his composition - from the one or two that aren't themselves questionable as 'after' - but the manner is otherwise very like his father - perhaps unsurprisingly. He's mainly a watercolourist despite the fact he did do oils.’

Gregory Burgess,

The low horizon suggests the influence of the Dutch Marine style of the 17th Century. If this painting is by either Cleverley I'd suggest the Younger.
The Younger's style is more atmospheric and less formal than that of his father or say Francis Holman, a painter from the same period and of known Thames subjects. The East Indiaman (?) to my eyes, is a tad short
I think we can discount Robert Cleverley his brother on stylistic grounds.

Marcie Doran,

An older discussion.

Yes, those works are very similar, Jacinto. The location is even the same - Deptford. My first attachment is a composite that includes “Launching at Deptford”.

I’ve been comparing the work “The Naval Dockyard, Deptford, London” (rigging, flags, sails, small boat) to one by John Cleveley the elder at the National Maritime Museum dated 1752 and I think they are very similar. If the mystery work is about the same age, it would more likely be by John Cleveley the elder.

“A Naval Brigantine in a Calm Sea”

Two composites are attached (I used the second image at this link

This picture is currently in store and I'll try and fix an opportunity to see it. I'll also have a word with an NMM 'ships' colleague about its 'Naval Brigantine in a Calm Sea', not because of the attribution but the title: the Navy would probably have called it a 'sloop' in terms of its officlal 'rate' but the rig is really that of a brig with a lateen yard rather than a gaff on the mizzen -which is unusual in painting terms for vessels of the size, though otherwise common in pre-1750s shipping.

Please support your comments with evidence or arguments.

jpg, png, pdf, doc, xls (max 6MB)
Drop your files here
Attach a file Start uploading

Sign in

By signing in you agree to the Terms & Conditions, which includes our use of cookies.