John ‘Jack’ Travers Cornwell, who was just 16, remained at his post on the HMS Chester awaiting orders despite having suffered mortal shrapnel injuries. Initially, Jack was buried in a common grave but the British press took up his story and he was eventually laid to rest with full military honours and posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. His family received news of the honour in July of 1916. A native of east London, Jack died in hospital two days after the battle but his story had entered British naval history.
Slow News Week
Nothing but tall ship festivals and dockside heritage galas have crossed the nautical news wire here at MM HQ, so I shall take this opportunity to compile a marine art primer, for your summertime viewing enjoyment. This will be on the quiz.
Ships and boats have been included in art from almost the earliest times, but marine art only began to become a distinct genre, with specialized artists, towards the end of the Middle Ages, mostly in the form of the “ship portrait” a type of work that is still popular and concentrates on depicting a single vessel.
Marine painting was a major genre within Dutch Golden Age painting, reflecting the importance of overseas trade and naval power to the Dutch Republic, and saw the first career marine artists, who painted little else. +
Adam spent all his life in Le Havre. Between 1872 and 1920, he released over 1500 paintings. +
“American School”? WTF? – American artist in the 18th– and early 19th-century transatlantic world, roughly 1750 to 1830 +
In this particular case, the specific painter is unknown and was probably an amateur or self taught, so this painting is categorized by genre, IE Early American Primitive, sometimes referred to as “Folk Art” or “Naive”
John Prentiss Benson (also John P. Benson; 1865–1947) was an American architect and artist noted for his maritime paintings. Born into a prosperous family in Salem, Benson and his wife later lived in a house they called “Willowbank” on the Piscataqua River in Kittery, Maine. He is buried in Salem, Massachusetts.
The Black Ball Line was a passenger line founded by a group of New York Quaker merchants in 1817 with regular packet service running between Liverpool, England and New York City. The Black Ball Line is mentioned in several sea shanties, such as “Blow the Man Down,” “Homeward Bound”, “Bullgine Run”, and “Hurrah for the Black Ball Line.”
bio and links: more works by Dinsdale
British marine painter and aquatint engraver; Dodd started his career as a landscape painter, but after gaining some recognition in this field, specialised in marine scenes. Living in Wapping, London, he had plenty of material at hand in the way of ships, docks, and wharves. Much of his work includes scenes of the River Thames and naval dockyards. +
William Dennis Dring; Stand by tubes; control room of HMS Stubborn; 1943 – print available
Ferdinand de Lesseps (1805 – 1894) was a French diplomat and later developer of the Suez Canal, which in 1869 joined the Mediterranean and Red Seas. He attempted to repeat this success with an effort to build a Panama Canal at sea level during the 1880s, but the project was devastated by epidemics of malaria and yellow fever, and beset by financial problems. +
A Convoy, by Herbert Barnard John Everett, who has more paintings in the UK’s publicly owned collection than any other artist.
In 1918, maritime painter John Everett received special permission from the British Ministry of Information to represent river scenes in London. Everett became fascinated by dazzle-painted ships, and made many images of the vessels. (scroll down to No. 4: Camouflage Ships of WWI +II painted by John Everett)
Anton Otto Fischer was an illustrator for the Saturday Evening Post. Born in Germany and orphaned at any early age, he ran away at the age of 15 to escape being forced into priesthood, he came to America as a deck hand on a German vessel, and went on to sail on American ships for three years. During World War II, he was made the artist laureate of the United States Coast Guard.
Rowland Hilder (American/British, 1905-2005) Ship in Full Sail, 1930 – Charcoal, watercolor, and gouache on board
Rowland Frederick Hilder OBE (28 June 1905 – 21 April 1993) was an English marine and landscape artist and book illustrator. Though born in New York, Rowland’s English father decided in 1915 to return to his native county of Kent, England to enlist in the army after the outbreak of WWI.
Hilder was commissioned by Oxford University Press to illustrate books and his decorative end papers and black and white drawings of “Treasure Island” in 1929 won him The Times illustrators award. During the Second World War he then became a mainstay of the Ministry of Information. more works by Rowland Hilder
Antonio Nicolo Gasparo Jacobsen (November 2, 1850 – February 2, 1921) was a Danish-born American maritime artist known as the “Audubon of Steam Vessels”
Jacobsen was born in Copenhagen, Denmark where he attended the Royal Academy of Design before heading across the Atlantic Ocean. He arrived in the United States in August 1873 and settled in West Hoboken, New Jersey (now Union City), across the Hudson River from Manhattan and New York Harbor, its port filled with ships from America and around the world. Jacobsen got his start painting pictures of ships on safes, and as his reputation grew, he was asked to do portraits of ships by their owners, captains and crew members, with many of his works sold for five dollars.
Jacobsen painted more than 6,000 portraits of sail and steam vessels, making him “the most prolific of marine artists”. Many of his commissions came from sea captains, and Jacobsen was chosen both for the accuracy of his work and the fair price. more
Merritt Mauzey is one of the great chroniclers of the American agrarian life and rural society; having experienced life as a sharecropper first hand. Loading Cotton is one painting in a series of oils Mauzey created documenting the cotton industry, and is based on his experience working for a cotton exporter. +
Having exhibited and won awards at the Royal Society of Marine Artists and Mystic Seaport, his work is now in the collections of these leading museums. He also painted a sought-after series of clipper ships on porcelain for the Franklin Mint in the early 1980s. Yeah, that guy. +
more: Steam Tug Emma Kate Rose
more works by Stephen J. Renard
John Stobart (born 1929) is a British maritime artist best known for his paintings of American harbour scenes. Despite growing up in landlocked Derbyshire, Stobart had a fascination with the sea that stemmed from childhood visits to his grandmother in Liverpool, where he observed the city’s busy docks.
Stobart travelled to Africa by sea in order to visit his father who had emigrated to Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia. The sketches he made of the twelve ports he visited on the journey inspired him to pursue maritime art as a speciality. He successfully approached shipping companies with the idea of painting new vessels from plans during their construction.
today’s inspiration and special thanks to:
- Art and the War at Sea; Daily Mail; 29 November 2015
- Marine Art on Heritage Auctions
- Forgotten Fighters: The First World War at Sea
Robert Stephen Hawker was vicar of Morwenstow from 1834 to 1875. Regarded as being a good minor poet and ballad writer he is remembered today for being an eccentric. A small cliff-top hut, Hawker’s Hut was built around 1844 from driftwood and shipwreck timbers, particularly from the Alonzo, wrecked there in 1843.
Both Alfred Tennyson and Charles Kingsley are known to have visited Hawker in his tiny self-built hut, and one can easily imagine them sharing the pipe, staring out at the ocean and talking about the mysteries of life. keep reading
Hawker was regarded as a deeply compassionate person giving Christian burials to shipwrecked seamen washed up on the shores of the parish, and was often the first to reach the cliffs when there was a shipwreck. This driftwood hut is now the smallest property in the National Trust portfolio.
Other eccentricities attributed to him include dressing up as a mermaid and excommunicating his cat for mousing on Sundays. Fond of wearing bright colors, he dressed in claret-coloured coat, blue fisherman’s jersey, long sea-boots, a pink brimless hat and a poncho made from a yellow horse blanket, which he claimed was the ancient habit of St Padarn. He talked to birds, invited his nine cats into church and kept a pig as a pet. +
more: Robert Stephen Hawker His life and writings (more Hut pix)
A promising new blog has just recently graced the intarwebs, Sea Sisters ABOUT:
“We are a grassroots collective of women who make our living working on ships, tugs, workboats, research vessels, OSVs, fishing boats, crew boats, passenger ferries and more. We are here to tell our stories to everyone: men and women, young and old. But we are especially here to inspire, lead, and support the next generation of women and girls who may one day also dream of going to sea.”