Thomas Birch 
American Merchant Ship off Battlements of Marseilles
⚈ Sold
American (1779-1851)

Oil on Board 1846
20 x 30½ 28¼ x 38½ Inches Framed
Signed LL: T. Birch 1846  
   

Thomas Birch 
 
American (1779-1851)
 
American Merchant Ship off Battlements of Marseilles
⚈ Sold

Oil on Board 1846
20 x 30½ 28¼ x 38½ Inches Framed
Signed LL: T. Birch 1846  
   

A work of art which holds a repetoire of importance and imagery, the European forts, sailors and soil serve in contrast to the arrival of the armed American merchant ship along France’s southernmost shore in the painting. Reaching atmospheric coloration blends the continuity of the red-shirted sailors with the luminous touches of the sun’s rays in the sky to combine excellent example of Birchall's acclaimed watercolor technique is this alluring image of a French brigantine under full sail off the American coast. The ship is easily identified as a cod fisher by the fishing dories on her foredeck and the small crow's nest lookout on her mainmast.

This hard working vessel is shown beautifully positioned on the horizon line, accenting Birchall's skill at marine composition. She is passing an outward bound American ocean going tug off her port beam. Excellent detail is shown in the brigantine's intricate rigging and billowing sails as well as the deck layout and particulars on the tug.

Using additional body color to strengthen the overall effect, Birchall's coloration of sea and sky creates a rich atmosphere that surrounds and highlights both of the vessels. The tiny seabirds that dot the composition add additional authenticity and realism to this splendid narrative scene.