The 'Diana' in an Ice Dock - James H. Wheldon (date unknown, c.1850s)
oil on canvas, 46 x 71 cm
KINCM:2010.16, Hull Maritime Museum

Wheldon’s murky third portrait of the Diana depicts her in an ice dock, with the well-known Greenland landmark, the Devil’s Thumb again on the far left horizon. The Diana is seen in a lost port view. Normally, Hull artists represented the central ship on a parallel line to the horizon, to emphasise its stability. Wheldon has subtly titled his ship upwards, pointing to the Devil’s Thumb, and downwards towards the bottom right, suggesting, quietly, that something is not quite as it should be. He emphasises this effect of the world sliding out of the bottom right hand corner of the picture by the way in which he increasingly hides the horizon line on the right hand side behind numerous, heavy, rocky, icy landscape features. Ominously, only the Devi’s Thumb remains upright. The Diana was lost on its 1869 homeward voyage.

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Credit: Images are courtesy of the Hull Maritime Museum