A storm, with an anchored ship in distress off rocky coast

A spectacular imaginary rendering of imminent shipwreck, the red ensign being flown upside-down as a signal of distress. It appears to show a two-decker naval warship, with her ports closed, riding to both her bower anchors but still in grave danger on a craggy lee shore. In the left distance another ship claws its way off, to windward, under reefed fore and main courses. The subject of ships in distress or wrecked on rocky coasts goes back to the origins of 'marine painting' in Flemish art of the late-16th and early- 17th centuries. At that time it had symbolic, religious meanings largely lost by Pocock's time and yet this is still a very traditional, Dutch-influenced and stylized treatment, with the ships brought up to date. Signed by the artist and dated, lower right, it is also in very good unfaded condition. Exhibited: NMM Pocock exhib. (1975) no. 15.

Object Details

ID: PAF5904
Collection: Fine art; Special collections
Type: Drawing
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Pocock, Nicholas
Date made: 1793
People: Pocock, Nicholas
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Sheet: 307 x 434 mm; Mount: 405 mm x 556 mm

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