Sailors in port
Sailors relaxing on the deck of a what is probably a naval ship. They are dancing to the fiddler's music and enjoying the company of girls. Although seamen would often visit taverns and brothels ashore, prostitutes were often brought on board Navy vessels when they were in port, since all that was required was a verbal declaration that they were 'wives'. This is one of a set of four plates of effectively the same size and vertical format celebrating 'the British sailor', issued by Smith after Stothard with the same official 1798 publication date. They comprise three similar group shipboard scenes - 'Sailors in a Fight' (PAH7352), 'Sailors in a Storm' (PAH7353) and 'Sailors in Port' (PAH7355) - and the rather different 'A Sailor's Return in Peace' to his family (PAH7354). The first two of 'Fight' and 'Storm' are mezzotints but for reasons yet to be explained the other two are aquatints.
Thomas Stothard (artist)
Original size: 597 mm x 505 mm
- Image reference: PY7355
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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