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Topography

painting of a large ship sailing out to sea with smaller vessels in foreground

'Man of War in a Harbour' after conservation

Topographically the background is probably highly romanticised. The left margin is framed by a fortified harbour with a tower, behind which a man-of-war is fitting out.

The right margin of the sheltered anchorage is framed by a tall rocky pinnacle surmounted by a ruin, at the base of which, in the right foreground, is beached a fishing lugger drying sails. To its left, silhouetted against the paler sea is an open rowing boat drawn up on the shore, its occupants having unloaded and sorted their catch of fish, now displayed on the foreshore.

The juxtaposition of a departing powerful naval unit and a carefully classified exhibition of different varieties of fish is most intriguing.

detail of men with fishing boat

Detail of fishermen in the foreground of 'Man of War in a Harbour'