The period from 1780 to 1830 is nowadays known as one of the most exiting
time in maritime history. Foreign countries and islands around the world
were explored, large man-of-war were build to fight in the sea battles
of the Napolonic and other Wars.
Algerian Pirates, such as Hassan Pascha, was frightening the crews of
the merchant vessels. The sea was ruled by taught man, some of them stayed
away from home for years to catch whales in the arctic or to do service
on a Naval ship in overseas tropical waters.
In the maritime art the Dutch, French and British Schools was
leading. Artists such as Hoogerheyden or Buttersworth Senior (see examples
on this on this and the following page) painted the large ships of the
line with great detail. The first ship portraits appeared in Britain,
Italy and France. In Britain these were usually expensive and large oilpaintings
- and only wealthy merchant captains or leading members of the Navy could
In Italy and France arose a school of artists who painted very fine ship
portraits in watercolor and gouache, which were less expensive. A typical
representative is Antoine Roux of Marseilles, who was famous on both sides
of the Atlantic. Also in Scandinavia - with its close relation to the
sea - we find some artists, who painted ships already. Lonning (see below)
or J. Petersen (2nd page) are good examples for the high standard of Scandinavian
art of that period.
If we think today of the days of Nelson`s *Victory* or the *Constitution*
in America, we`ll feel a fascination which exists since 200 years and
which will remain in the 21st Century...