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    Sale 7489

    Important Maritime Art

    31 October 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 86

    John Wilson Carmichael (1799-1868)

    Local craft and a saluting frigate in the bay off Rethymnon, Crete, with the port's citadel rising to the right and Mount Ida in the distance beyond

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    John Wilson Carmichael (1799-1868)
    Local craft and a saluting frigate in the bay off Rethymnon, Crete, with the port's citadel rising to the right and Mount Ida in the distance beyond
    signed and dated 'J.W. Carmichael/1842' (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    18 x 28 in. (45.7 x 71.2 cm.)


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    This tranquil and unusual view by Carmichael shows the old port of Rethymnon (also known as Rétimo) on the northern coast of the island of Crete. A fortified city protected by an ancient citadel on a lofty headland, Rethymnon is situated about forty miles west of Crete's capital (then known as Candia but now called Iráklion) and housed a population estimated at around 10,000 souls by 1880. Crete's principal port in Carmichael's time, it prospered thanks to the thriving trade in oil and soap and was a frequent destination for many a West European merchantman quite apart from the picturesque Mediterranean xebecs with which Carmichael adorns this panorama. To the south of the city rises Mount Ida (Psiloriti), the highest point on Crete at 7,674 feet and which is clearly visible in the far distance. With a snow-clad summit even in the heat of summer, the mountain boasts a limestone cave system at its base which is so intricate and extensive that it is widely believed to be the fabled 'Labyrinth of Minos' from classical mythology.

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    Provenance

    with Frost & Reed, London.