It has been suggested that the present watercolour was executed for the publication Liber Nauticus, and instructor in the Art of Marine Drawing, by Dominick and John Thomas Serres, London, 1805.
The publication was the first of its kind and J.T. Serres went further than most authors of painting and drawing handbooks and produced a series of plates that illustrated every necessary element to be found in a sea piece. This comprised the components of the ships, the details of their construction, their ornamentation and the compositional elements of the drawn ship in relation to the element that supports it, the sea. The sea is also illustrated in various states, from calm to stormy.
J.T. Serres received tuition from his father and produced the drawings for the first part of the Liber Nauticus.
We are grateful to Pieter van der Merwe of the National Maritime Museum for his help in preparing this catalogue entry.