'Ships at Anchor', Richard Parkes Bonington

Marine painting with large sailing ship in foreground and ships in background

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Bonington creates a feeling of timeless calm from a few simple elements: the low horizon, the large expanse of sky, the glitter of the sea and the geometrical lines of sails and rigging.

Details such as the seagull alighting on the water, the figures, and the washing hanging between the masts provide gentle animation.

The view was painted in Northern France. The type of ship, a brig, indicates that the port was a commercial centre of some importance.

Artwork Details

Medium and Support: Oil on canvas
Date: about 1824
Accession No: WAG 188