An English Squadron Going to Windward

Most of Charles Brooking’s extant paintings date from the last six years of his career and are principally marine subject matter. His reputation as a marine artist was well established by 1755, and his stylistic range shows the influences of Simon de Vlieger and Willem van de Velde the Younger, although his approach was mostly individualistic. His careful attention to detail demonstrates an informed knowledge of maritime practice and naval architecture.

The scene of an English squadron going to windward in a storm bears a strong resemblance to van de Velde’s work, not only in the composition with its low viewpoint and the vessels riding out the waves in the middle ground, but also in the dramatic lighting of the water, which is turning almost white on the horizon. In the 18th century a storm painting like this would have satisfied the audience’s appetite for sublime subject matter.

Object Details

ID: BHC1027
Collection: Fine art
Type: Painting
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Brooking, Charles
Date made: 18th century
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Painting: 405 mm x 545 mm; Frame: 565 x 707 x 100 mm

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