Thomas Luny 
Action off a Lee Shore British (1759-1837)

Oil on Canvas Dated 1785
28 x 36 ¼ Inches 36 ¾ x 44 7/8 Inches Framed
Signed LL: Luny  
   

Thomas Luny 
 
British (1759-1837)
 
Action off a Lee Shore

Oil on Canvas Dated 1785
28 x 36 ¼ Inches 36 ¾ x 44 7/8 Inches Framed
Signed LL: Luny  
   

With her lower yards braced hard against the wind, this proud British fifth rater claws her way to windward in order to escape a perilous meeting with the looming shore. With the blue peter streaming gallantly in the wind and her figurehead riding boldly above the waves, all hands have been mustered on deck and the gun ports opened, ready for action against the fleeing Baltic sloop on the horizon.

These able 40 gun frigates were the supreme commerce raiders of their time. Measuring up to 150 feet in length they carried crews of up to 250 eager volunteers due to the ongoing promise of substantial prize money. In fleet actions they were the fast and far ranging scouts sent to search out and shadow the enemy until the main fleet could engage.

In this fine work from Thomas Luny's early period the artist has superbly captured an unfolding drama at sea with all the apprehension of maneuvering in dangerous waters and the building excitement of the pending battle. Luny's early paintings, such as this one, completed prior to the beginning of the 19th century are considered to be some of his most accomplished and sought after works.