A British Armed Sloop and Auxiliary Brig, 1808

by Robert Salmon (1775–ca. 1845)
Oil on canvas
20 5/16 x 30 15/16 inches
Initialed and dated lower right: R. S 1808



Private collection

Private collection, Saint Mande, France, by descent from above, until 2006

Sale, Christie’s, New York, New York, July 27, 2006, lot 227 (as A British Armed Sloop in Three Positions Off a Coast Homeward Bound)

Private collection, New York, New York, acquired from above

Note: This painting depicts two merchant vessels off Liverpool, England. On the ship in the foreground one can see the details of the ship’s rigging and the Red Ensign (merchant ship flag of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, used since 1707) blowing in the wind. The blue and white flag signifies that the captain wants to move closer to the ship depicted on the left.

Artist Biography

Born in Whitehaven, England, Robert Salmon moved to Boston in 1828 and became a well-regarded maritime painter. His early career was in England and Scotland, particularly in Liverpool and Greenock, painting scenes much influenced by the Dutch maritime tradition. In the United States, he translated his craft into painting detailed views of Boston’s wharves and shorelines, often doing commissions of ship portraits. He likely completed several hundred paintings of Boston Harbor. In Boston, he also worked in the lithography studio of William S. Pendleton with Fitz Hugh Lane, where his maritime painting influenced Lane’s work. His influence on younger American

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