William Anderson (1757–1837)

British Man of War off the Coast

Watercolour, 61/2 x 91/2 in (16.5 x 24 cm)

The motif of the main vessel beating into the wind, while the smaller vessels advance down wind – common to stormier scenes in the British marine tradition – continues here. What is remarkable is that Anderson is able to present all these elements in addition to the figure interest on such a small scale. The rowing boat in the foreground is at the top edge of the shadowed portion of the sea, which enhances the contrast with the lighter water beyond and leads the eye to the distant coastline.

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