THE LURE OF THE OCEAN
DATE & LOCATION
28 February 2021
20 March 2021
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
As many of you will know, Gladwell & Company resided in the City of London for 260 years until the gallery moved to Beauchamp Place in 2012.
During this time the City was the hub of the marine world whether through insurance or shipping. As a result, our gallery supplied fine art to some of the most knowledgeable marine experts in the world. This meant that the artists whom we represented had to be technically correct in every way - they had to know the technical details of the ships, the weather conditions and the sail settings to accommodate the weather portrayed.
In most every case, these artists achieved this because of their experience on the very vessels they portrayed. In Chapelet’s case he was Chancellor of the Cape Horners, that is people who have actually sailed round Cape Horn, reputably the provider of the worst storms in the world. Derek Gardner was on the North Sea Convoys (not on sailing ships I hasten to add ) but in reputably bad weather.
One beautiful tale to represent the level of the attention to detail and accuracy that these artists prided themselves on is, I recall, when a customer commissioned Derek Gardner to paint a picture of a vessel the client's ancestor sailed on. When the client viewed the finished work he threw up his hands in despair as the artist had portrayed an 84 gun, two deck ship and the client was expecting a 104 gun, three deck vessel. We returned to the artist who promptly advised us that half way through the building the Admiralty had changed the specification to a “cruiser” rather than a battleship, which is what he had painted. On advising the client his hands went up again because earlier he had commissioned Basset's, the model builders, to make a model from the original plans, so he ended up with a model of a ship that his ancestor had never sailed on.
I sincerely trust that you will find this small catalogue specialising in the marine world interesting and enjoyable. I have included biographies of the vessels together with illustrations of some of my own collection of models with the aim of bringing the paintings even more to life.
- Anthony Fuller