• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 5386

    Maritime

    21 May 2008, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 35

    Thomas Luny (1759-1837)

    Fishermen casting their nets off a lighthouse in the Strait of Messina, with Mt. Etna beyond

    Price Realised  

    Thomas Luny (1759-1837)
    Fishermen casting their nets off a lighthouse in the Strait of Messina, with Mt. Etna beyond
    signed and dated 'Luny 1827' (lower left)
    oil on board
    9¾ x 14 in. (24.7 x 35.5 cm.)


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    The famous Strait of Messina separates Calabria from the island of Sicily. A natural whirlpool develops at the entrance to the Strait, making this passage a particularly dangerous one. In legend, this was the home of Scylla and Charybdis, sea monsters who dwelled on either side of the narrow passage, Scylla on the Calabrian side and Charybdis on the Sicilian side, drowning sailors who passed too close to one or the other.

    There has been a long-running controversy in Italy about building a bridge across the Strait, which is technically feasible but would be very expensive. As of May 2006, the idea has been shelved by the government.

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