View of Liverpool from the Fort with a Ship on Fire

John Thomas Serres,

WAG 9219

About this object

One of four views of the river Mersey which Serres painted during his stay in Liverpool from 1796 to 1798. The Fort mentioned in the title was a small battery which stood on the site now occupied by the Princes Dock. The old spire of St Nicholas's church is visible on the left.

Serres, who is shown sketching in the bottom left hand corner, succeeded his father as Marine Painter to the King and was also the draughtsman to the Admirality. His career, however, was marred by an unfortunate marriage, as described by the Liverpool painter John Turmeau (1777 - 1847) who knew the couple: "their quarrels were frequent and violent. Mrs. Serres was accustomed to pursue him with a poker from room to room, smashing doors and every obstacle. He sometimes made his retreat by the window..."

Object specifics

  • Artist(s)
    John Thomas Serres (British: English, born:1759-12, died:1825-12-28)
  • Date
  • Materials
    Pen; Ink; Watercolour; Paper
  • Measurements
    paper: 36.5 cm x 53.3 cm
  • Physical description
    A marine landscape with vessels scattered on the water. On the left are dock buildings and a spire. In the centre three men are tugging at a sinking sailing boat and behind a ship is on fire with clouds of smoke.
  • Related people
    John Thomas Serres (Artist/maker) ; Spink and Son Ltd (Previous owner)
  • Other number(s)
    WAG Inventory Number: 9219
  • Credit line
    Purchased by the Walker Art Gallery with aid from the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1977
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Collection
    From the Walker Art Gallery collections


Previous owners

  • Spink and Son Ltd

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1977
    Disposal method: Purchased by the Walker Art Gallery with aid from the Victoria and Albert Museum
Object view = Fine Art
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