William Clark of Greenock (1803-1883) West harbour, Greenock 50.8 x 76.2cm (20 x 30ins)

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Lot 11
William Clark of Greenock
(1803-1883)
West harbour, Greenock 50.8 x 76.2cm (20 x 30ins)

Sold for £ 14,100 (US$ 19,692) inc. premium
William Clark of Greenock (1803-1883)
West harbour, Greenock
signed and dated 1867,
oil on canvas
50.8 x 76.2cm (20 x 30ins)

Footnotes

  • The artist painted several views of this once busy but now defunct harbour. This painting is very similar in style and atmosphere to an earlier view of 1830 but from complementary point of view, as seen when looking westwards through the harbour entrance towards the 'Tail of the Bank' anchorage, visible in the distance.

    It is near low water, judging by the large barque in profile view on the left of the entrance. Clearly her masts lean towards the quay, and the visible after portion of her hull shows part of her underwater section. Obviously the harbour is not a 'floating' harbour equipped with dock gates, so that the larger vessels are obliged to take the ground at low water. The calm conditions and fine weather favour the drying of sails, witness the brig in the harbour entrance with her topsail and topgallants hanging limply from the yards, other vessels following suit.

    Apprenticed as a 'decorative house painter', Clark was destined to become the local successor to Robert Salmon setting up as a marine artist at Greenock in March 1830, just after the former had emigrated to Boston, USA IN 1828.

    This painting is one example amongst many demonstrating Clark's skillful use of calm, luminescent conditions. Clearly he fell under the spell of Robert Salmon, just as Salmon was later to influence Fitz Hugh Lane and other 'luminists' in America.

    Literature:
    Wilmerding J. "Robert Salmon, Painter of ship & shore" Peabody Museum, 1971.

    Davidson AS "Marine Art & the Clyde" Jones-SandsPublishing 2000

    We would like to thank Dr Sam Davidson for his help in cataloguing this lot.
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