Loading boats in an estuary; with beach in the left foreground, four small boats gathered around a Dutch fishing boat, and their crews hoisting barrels into her, a little further off to the right another Dutch vessel, in the left foreground figures with baskets near boats, anchors and other objects, further along the shore to the left vessels moored by a breakwater and a windmill behind them. 1808 Watercolour
- Height: 602 millimetres
- Width: 863 millimetres
Inscription ContentSigned and dated: "S Owen. 1808"
The long-established tradition of marine painting in England was given new life by Turner, some of whose earliest important works were of this genre. Among his contemporaries, Samuel Owen (who outlived him, although fourteen years older) is representative of the more conventional approach to such subjects. The present watercolour, however, shows that he was capable of absorbing Turner's example without descending to pastiche. The large scale of this drawing reflects the desire felt by many watercolourists at the beginning of the nineteenth century to challenge the effects of oil paintings.
Tim Wilcox describes Owen's watercolour as 'a sophisticated reworking of seventeeth-century Dutch marine painting, undoubtedly familiar to audiences at the time, but handled with a delicacy and limpidity which, in its way, speak as convincingly for the merits of the medium as many more self-conscious productions.' See Tim Wilcox, 'The Triumph of Watercolour', exh. cat., Dulwich Picture Gallery, 2005, p. 57.
See also P. Sutton, 'Samuel Owen: Artist and Sea Captain', privately published, 2012. p.27.
British Antiquarian PIV
1985, BM, British Landscape Watercolours 1600-1860, no.70
2005 Feb-April, London, Dulwich Picture Gallery, 'The Triumph of Watercolour', no. 37
2005 May-Aug, Manchester, Whitworth Art Gallery, 'The Triumph of Watercolour'
Prints & Drawings
Loading boats in an estuary; with beach in the l foreground, four small boats gathered around a Dutch fishing boat, and their crews hoisting barrels into her, a little further off to the r another Dutch vessel, in the l foreground figures with baskets near boats, anchors and other objects, further along the shore to the l vessels moored by a breakwater and a windmill behind them. 1808 Watercolour
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Object reference number: PDB2678
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