Charles Brooking

A Flagship before the Wind with other Vessels

Not on display

Charles Brooking c.1723–1759
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 368 × 1016 mm
Presented by Miss Florence Le Marchant Tupper in memory of Lt-Gen. Sir Gaspard Le Marchant Tupper 1924

Display caption

As an island nation, the British have an emotional attachment to the sea, and marine painting, based on Dutch models, developed earlier in Britain than, for instance, landscape painting. By the l740s it reflected Britain's rapidly growing naval and mercantile power.
Brooking was one of the most promising marine painters of the mid-century, but died in his thirty-sixth year. He grew up among the shipyards of Deptford, probably the son of a painter- decorator, and trained by copying Dutch pictures. His style shows that he belonged to the new generation of painters to whom the varying moods of nature, translucent atmosphere and changing play of light were as important as the ships themselves.

Gallery label, September 2004

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