Steam Whaler 'Chase' - Unknown Artist (c.1870)
oil on canvas, 54 x 79 cm
KINCM:2007.2271, Hull Maritime Museum

This second, c.1870 image of the Chase bears a close relationship to the first, depicting the vessel again in a starboard view parallel to the horizon line, in full sail and with smoke emerging from its engine. Our artist, again, however, makes a variant, rather than a copy. He darkens the palette, into a more Rembrandtian brown and cream, rather than bright white, and where the first Chase heads into cloudier weather as it enters the ice-floes, to emphasise the power of its engine, the second emerges from it. Indeed, it is as if the clouds above the ship are partly the product of the smoke from its engine. In the second version of the image, the artist has cropped the picture, on the left hand side, closer to the Chase, making it clearly the focus, andn enlarges the vessel, bringing it closer to the picture plane. A second lost starboard view can be seen on the far horizon. In addition, the artist generates a more undulating, rhythmic overall structure, thanks to the repeated sine curve of passages of water and hummocks of ice running horizontally across the canvas, whose foreshortened forms further emphasise the ship by leading the eye into the depth of field and towards it. Finally, and perhaps mindful of its final fate, the artist depicts the vessel in more safely open channels of water

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Credit: Images are courtesy of the Hull Maritime Museum