George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson, born in c.1806 at Queenstown, County Cork to English parents, started life as a ship's carpenter, and advanced to Government Surveyor of Shipping and Emigrants at Queenstown, before embarking on an artistic career. His early experiences equipped him with a thorough knowledge of shipping and the sea; a contemporary commented that 'his ships were faultless in every detail, and his sky and sea faithful to nature in her varied forms of beauty' (cited in A. Crookshank and the Knight of Glin, Ireland's Painters 1600-1940, New Haven & London, 2002, p.218). Atkinson exhibited at both the Cork Art Union and the Royal Hibernian Academy from the early 1840s, and held a one-man show to mark the visit of Queen Victoria to Cork in August 1849.
The present view is taken in the channel of the River Lee called Passage West, looking south west towards the row of houses called Passage West, with Monkstown Castle on the hill in the distance.
We are grateful to Peter Murray (Crawford Art Gallery, Cork) for his assistance with this catalogue entry.