John Wilson Carmichael (British, 1799-1868) A 'Squadron of the Red' of the Royal Navy wallowing in heavy seas in Table Bay, the flagship making a signal and the frigate nearest inshore signalling her reply.

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Lot 1
John Wilson Carmichael
(British, 1799-1868)
A 'Squadron of the Red' of the Royal Navy wallowing in heavy seas in Table Bay, the flagship making a signal and the frigate nearest inshore signalling her reply.

Sold for £ 18,750 (US$ 24,124) inc. premium
John Wilson Carmichael (British, 1799-1868)
A 'Squadron of the Red' of the Royal Navy wallowing in heavy seas in Table Bay, the flagship making a signal and the frigate nearest inshore signalling her reply.
signed and dated 'Carmichael/ 1843' (lower right)
oil on board
44 x 59cm (17 5/16 x 23 1/4in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Private collection.


    The son of a shipwright, John Wilson Carmichael had early exposure to life at sea. As an adolescent, he spent three years on board a vessel sailing between ports in Spain and Portugal. Following his return, he was apprenticed to a shipbuilding firm. However, on completing his apprenticeship he renounced this career to pursue his artistic ambitions. He established a workshop with the landscape painter, Thomas Richardson Snr.

    Over the course of the following decade, Carmichael became one of Northumbria's most respected marine artists. In the 1840s, two of his paintings were exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

    The current lot was executed in 1843, when the artist was at the height of his powers. The painting depicts a British naval squadron performing manoevres off Table Bay. The mountainous coastline can be seen in the distance. Dark clouds are beginning to gather over the scene. The flags flown by the three-masted ship are most likely naval code, a message from the flagship telling the squadron to 'scatter/shorten sail/run for the open sea' ahead of the approaching storm. Table Bay was a notorious place to be stuck in during an onshore gale, and was the site of numerous wrecks.
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