William Anderson (1757–1837)

Dutch Shipping off the Coast

Watercolour over pencil, 7 3/4 x 113/4 in (19.5 x 30 cm)

Figures are an important element in Anderson seascapes, either on shore or, as here, seen in boats and shipping near enough to enable the viewer to see the tasks on which they are engaged. Here the figures on the right are setting the sails as they proceed down wind. This is in contrast to the position of the main vessel which is beating on the opposite tack. Anderson adopts a broader approach than does Atkins for the depiction of waves, with their crests often more widely spaced. The tones of the sea reflect the shadows cast by the clouds, unifying the composition. As so often in Anderson watercolours, a group of houses and a jetty add interest to the scene, whilst the Dutch antecedents of this view are confirmed not only by the overall feel and placing of the vessels, but by the distant buildings on the other side of the estuary.