Nicolas Pocock (1741-1821)


Nicolas Pocock earned an immortal fame as a member of the first generation of British sea painters, following the Dutch tradition of the Van de Veldes alongside such notables as Isaac Sailmaker, Peter Monamy, Dominic Serres and Charles Brooking. The foundation of marine painting built by these men would change the art world's perceptions for centuries to come. The esteem of their contributions continues to rise, and Pocock's works continue to rise in artistic appreciation. Primarily capturing naval engagements and marine narratives in both oil and watercolors, Pocock was a founding member of the Old Watercolor Society at the age of 63.

Among his patrons Pocock counted several members of the aristocracy and important naval officers, and for whom he strove to capture accurate depictions of the might of the Royal Navy in all its varieties. He was a naval man as well, and after leaving service lived and worked in Bristol and then London. His work proceeds from the dramatic Dutch tradition early on to adapt the smoother sensibilities that working in the watercolor medium provides: fluid and an exacting ability to softly touch the brush for the finest of details. Pocock found himself in great demand, and traveled the ports and harbors of England to create his masterful paintings.

During his lifetime, Pocock exhibited 113 paintings at the Royal Academy, and most were of specific historic events recording the nature of naval campaigns throughout Europe. Pocock's position within British Marine painting is rightly served by his presence in museums throughout Great Britain, Holland and Europe, including a large collection within the walls of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.

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