An English squadron going to windward
Most of Charles Brooking's extant paintings date from the last six years of his career and are principally marine subject matter. His reputation as a marine artist was well established by 1755, and his stylistic range shows the influences of Simon de Vlieger and Willem van de Velde the Younger, although his approach was mostly individualistic. His careful attention to detail demonstrates an informed knowledge of maritime practice and naval architecture. The scene of an English squadron going to windward in a storm bears a strong resemblance to van de Velde's work, not only in the composition with its low viewpoint and the vessels riding out the waves in the middle ground, but also in the dramatic lighting of the water, which is turning almost white on the horizon. In the 18th century a storm painting like this would have satisfied the audience's appetite for sublime subject matter.
- Image reference: BHC1027
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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