Robert Salmon 
Ferry Boat, No. 825
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Anglo-American (1775-c.1848)

Oil on Panel Dated 1835
10 x 12½ Inches 15½ x 18 Inches Framed
Signed LR: R.S. 1835  
   

Robert Salmon 
 
Anglo-American (1775-c.1848)
 
Ferry Boat, No. 825
⚈ Sold

Oil on Panel Dated 1835
10 x 12½ Inches 15½ x 18 Inches Framed
Signed LR: R.S. 1835  
   

With a professional artist's eye and a seagoing man's knowledge of the action witnessed, Robert Salmon has composed an excellent smaller painting of a very dramatic moment set near the port of Folkestone, just south of Dover. The castle above the famous White Cliffs are all in sunlit view, while the darker sky and sea churn with the prevailing southeasterly wind. From this shore, one can see across the English Channel to the French shore at Calais. All takes place as a two-masted ferry boat with both men and women passengers prepares to make a line-assisted anchorage in a rather rough water channel.

The considerable esteem Salmon enjoyed as a professional artist hit a peak in the 1830s, and he began to paint on speculation for associated dealer's and sell directly in auctions, to complement his many direct commissions from Boston many shipping and society patrons. Listed in his records, published in the book, Robert Salmon, Painter of Ship & Shore by John Wilmerding, he painted this oil in an amazing two days, and received $17 for its sale in a Boston auction in 1836.

There is a fine balance to the subjects present in this work. The crew attempts to steady the listing ship, one man elevated precariously at the forward rail, and men on both sides of the shore ready with rope lines to assist from the rocks. The sky billows with darker clouded atmosphere, the tossed sea froths and cutter sailing ships are visible in the background. Salmon's superb artistic ability gives this work its hopeful emotion, the belief that all will go well with the landing.


Provenance: Private Texas Collection.