Moonlight scene: ships saluting
A highly evocative panel painting from about 1800, of a moonlit scene showing ships saluting. The ship in the foreground on the left flies the red ensign. Two figures in a small boat have been thrown a line by the sailors shown on deck. The ship in the distance on the right is firing a salute and other shipping can be seen beyond. The painting is decorative rather than of high quality and this, combined with the unusual dimensions may suggest it was produced to be part of a decorative scheme for a domestic setting. Instead of accurate detailing, the artist has focused on the visual light effects created by the moon. Its light casts a shaft of brilliant white over the sea. By contrast the ships and their sails are dark against this setting. In this way the artist has created an ethereal and dreamlike effect.
- Image reference: BHC1074
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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