Painting with unsurpassed detail, Robert Salmon’s works are desirable to collectors the world over, due to the impressive amount of historic subject matter presented through artistic compositions of the highest order. This striking view is of the important river port of South Shields and Tynemouth after a fierce gale has created havoc. With the low tide a very temporary thing, all efforts are being expended to salvage and restore order. People from every walk, led by Scottish military persons in uniforms, are put to the tasks of securing the safety of the people, cargoes and ships affected.
There has been a port at the Tyne River for more than 2,000 years. In a location on the northeast coast, the Romans used it to transport good to the forts of Hadrian’s Wall and to sell British grains and goods to the Continent. A century and one-half later, the city of Newcastle controlled the export of coal, making it the country’s largest exporter. Beyond this, the primary industry through the ages has always been the world-class shipbuilding firms of the Tynebank.
Salmon’s superb rendering of the deep cloud-filled sky with rays of illumination parting the storm offer hope and light for the rescuers. The cool depth of shadows make each location into a human theater, where Salmon has placed his emotional context to their dedicated efforts. Outsized by the ships and storm itself, the diminutive people are striving to be victorious in adapting to the power and whims of the natural world.
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