Four sailors relaxing on deck, one reading

A deck scene with four sailors relaxing, one of whom is reading. From an album of drawings and watercolours (PAI4289) formerly owned, and possibly made, by the renowned antiquarian of Kent and churchman the Rev. Thomas Streatfeild (1777-1848). The album is inscribed on the frontispiece by a later owner, and with a variant spelling: ‘Rev. T. Streatfield / 1777-1848 / Sketchbook of shipboard scenes’.

The present album of pencil drawings and watercolours represents a departure from the sobriety of Streatfeild’s activities as a curate and antiquarian. It begins with a few pencil studies: a bridge, trees and animals, but is largely made up of a group of scenes aboard ship, presumably taken from life. The collected vignettes and caricatures offer a humorous glimpse of life on board ship, as passengers find their sea-legs and the crew carry out their duties. Curiously, none of the drawings include any suggestion of a port or coastline, or any other indication of where the ship was sailing from or to. However, it seems likely that the images record the voyage of a packet boat crossing the English Channel or North Sea.

The album remained with Streatfeild’s descendants until purchased by the Museum in 1969.

Object Details

ID: PAI4315
Type: Drawing
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Streatfeild, Reverend Thomas
Date made: 1820
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Sheet: 85 x 132 mm
Parts: Album of shipboard scenes belonging to and possibly by the clergyman, antiquarian and amateur artist, Rev. Thomas Streatfeild (sic). (Album)

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