A great example of one of William Bradford's renowned arctic scenes, this painting is a wonderful study of light and color and a great piece of American luminous painting. Housed in its original period deeply carved gilt frame.
In the foreground of this painting the ocean is scattered with surfaces of ice. At right center is an expertly rendered starboard bow view of a whale ship lying stationary in the ice field. Courses are loosely clewed up while the topsails and main top gallant appear to be drying, giving the vessel an overall relaxed feeling. The fore top gallant yard has been sent down, and the spanker is in brails.
Silhouettes of crewmen are seen on the foredeck. The rigging is painted with great detail and ambient light reflects off the hull and ratlines. A green whaleboat hangs in davits at the stern and another is stowed upside down above the deckhouse.
Surrounding the whaleship are outcroppings of small icebergs called growlers. Along the painting's centerline are rocky cliffs of what is probably the coast of Labrador.
The mountains show areas of snow pack in the numerous crevasses. The sky is greenish-blue with pinkish clouds at the horizon and scattered throughout the sky.
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