A fascinating marine narrative by Robert Salmon has an American Merchant Ship arriving off northwest Scotland in the Port of Lamlash in 1836. This work is a true gem, excellently composed. The historic subject matter and detail presented through the artistic work ranks it very highly. The ancient isle and the river port of Lamlash have been a fishing and trade port since the 18th Century, and today is home to one of the first marine conservancies in all of Scotland.
The port itself is the central subject, but the sheer diversity of the ships within is of note. In the fore waters, a three masted lugger with what appears to be a French flag is working the tide with rather well dressed voyagers onboard, undoubtably an early private yacht. Likewise, before the American ship is a British naval cutter illustrating the strong Dutch influence to the northern shipbuilders of Britain. More vessels await beyond, and would have been essential to pick up a local pilot to guide the ship.
Salmon’s superb details and human activity on each ship builds the appreciation, with each line and sail in working trim. The rising majesty of the Scotland heights, some distant homes along the shore and even a few adventurous fishing folk on the breakwater serve to complete the scene.
Inscribed Verso:(Beneath Cradle Stretcher) “Painted by R. Salmon, No. 853"
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