James Pyne , Joseph Mallord William Turner (After)

The Wreck of a transport ship

The Wreck of a transport ship by James Pyne, Joseph Mallord William Turner

Artwork Detail

This work was acquired as a smaller scale version by J M W Turner his larger painting of the same name which is now in the Fundaçao Calouste Gulbenkian in Lisbon. It is now believed that this is possibly a copy by by James Pyne, who was very much influenced by Turner's work.

As a Romantic, Turner drew on the fate and trials of humanity, set against tumultuous sea and sky. In Wreck of a Transport Ship, the convict ship (which may have held military rather than civilian prisoners) has capsized, casting guards and prisoners alike to a watery fate. Heroically, local fishing boats risk danger to come to their aid, but at a time when most people were unable to swim, the loss of life when ships foundered was invariably very high. In his treatment of landscape, Turner was a master at conveying what Andrew Wilton describes as the 'grandeur of the natural world in a language that is artificial and yet at the same time poetically true to observed life'. His marine paintings convey the sea in its every mood: sublimely grand and threatening, dissolving into a mist of opalescent light or other similarly spectacular atmospheric effects created by dense fog, sunrise or sunset.

The Wreck of a transport ship
James Pyne, Joseph Mallord William Turner
Production date
circa 1849
oil on canvas
988 x 1169 x 80 mm
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1956
Accession no
No known copyright restrictions
International Art
Display status
On display

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