Sailing Barque in the Arctic with Whale Boats - Attributed to Robert Willoughby (c.1840)
oil on canvas, 60 x 90 cm
KINCM:2007.2249, Hull Maritime Museum

Willoughby’s Sailing Barque in the Arctic with Whale Boats continues to explore the tried and tested structural formula established in the portraits of the Aurora and Elizabeth, as well as the Whalers in the Arctic. In this variant, Willoughby crops the left-hand side from the earlier images, offering a more focused portrait of a ship characteristically moored parallel to the horizon line, surrounded by its whale boats, with a second view heading home towards the horizon. But if the portraits of the whale ships Lee and Aurora had a dominantly blue palette, and Whalers in the Arctic and Elizabeth were characterised by their grey tonality, Sailing Barque again nods, this time insistently, through its dominant green palette, to the source of much British marine painting in the period, the Van de Veldes. 

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