In one of the finest portraits by Adam we have seen, the french port painter shows the green-hulled barkentine Kaleda passing the Pierhead off the port of Le Havre on the Normandy Coast. Strong attention has been given to the ship’s rigging and deck detail. Fine lines are used to delineate stays and shrouds while the sail panels and reefing points are also sharp and crisply rendered.
Her bow rising as she crests a wave, Kaleda is nicely positioned to capture the feeling of motion. The ship is sailing through a horizontal band of light green water that both contrasts the vessel’s hull color and adds perspective by accenting the darker foreground sea. Both perspective and mood are further enhanced by the horizon line dotted with numerous coastal craft, with sails illuminated or shadowed by the shifting marine atmosphere.
Kaleda’s name pennant is at her mainmast, and on the mizzen, beneath the British ensign, is the four-flag hoist J.R.M.P., her commercial code designation. Little information is available on the vessel, but she looks to be around 500 tons with a length of about 120 feet. Her deck houses have a somewhat American look and it is quite possible she is Canadian. Barkentines such as Kaleda were most prominent in the late 19th century.
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