Topic: Subject or sitter

This is presumably the Thames estuary or East Coast, given that the vessel to the right is a Thames barge beating to windward. An enlargement clarifies that the vessel close under it is another Thames barge (ketch-rigged in that case). It might be a Thames estuary view south from the Essex shore toward north Kent, but one would probably expect more heavy shipping if a realistic one: certainly a lot of chalk cliff in the background though I suspect the 'bump' on the top there is just a rough-painting feature rather than a building and the whole is pretty 'broad' in manner. Whatever is in the right foreground is wooden revetment or a sluice of some sort, probably there for compositional purposes but not helpful to location except as suggesting a low-level and perhaps marshy shore.

Pieter van der Merwe, Maritime Subjects, Entry reviewed by Art UK


The Collection has commented: ‘Looking at the horizon line of the picture it certainly seems as though there may be some buildings on the left side see enlarged image attached. Which makes the suggestion of the subject's setting being near the Thames Estuary likely. We have also attached an enlarged image of the right foreground as there seems to be some sort of structure emerging here which may help with the location identification.’

2 attachments

The dark structure at left has the shape and 'finials' of a square church tower rising directly out of the sea: that is clearly impossible so apart from the matter of location I cannot think what it might be intended as, unless another sail misleadingly done. The timberwork at lower right is some sort of revetement, or perhaps a sluice, the odd 'loop' perhaps part of a fish-trap or net. There is a distant ketch-rigged vessel - probably a Thames barge - above the bow of the rowing boat as well as the main one at right and the vessel in mid-ground centre is a brig: all credibly Suffolk to Thames Estuary.

Louis Musgrove,

Ad to the painter-there is an Edward Duncan who painted very similar "boaty" scenes,but he died in 1882,Although other people seemed to "copy" his style.
Then there is Eveline Etheline Dell- who was an artist around the correct date.Seems to have been an illustrator ?????

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