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    Sale 7489

    Important Maritime Art

    31 October 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 93

    John Wilson Carmichael (1799-1868)

    The fleet at anchor in an evening calm

    Price Realised  


    John Wilson Carmichael (1799-1868)
    The fleet at anchor in an evening calm
    signed and dated 'J.W. Carmichael/1855' (lower left)
    oil on canvas
    24 x 36 in. (61 x 91.5 cm.)

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    This haunting and evocative view of the setting sun, an anchored fleet of sailing warships and a steam frigate bursting upon the scene must surely be Carmichael's version of Turner's iconic image 'The Fighting Téméraire'. That celebrated painting was hailed everywhere as a powerful analogy of the end of the age of sail and its replacement by the power of steam yet Carmichael's picture, painted in 1855 - just as word was coming back to England that her great sailing three-deckers had been towed into position by steam paddle frigates in order to bombard Sebastopol during the Crimean War - is just as evocative. It is, in fact, so powerful an image that it is hard to believe that Carmichael did not have this metaphor in mind when he painted it.

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    Pre-Lot Text