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Whalers in the Arctic
Artist / Maker:
Willoughby, Robert
Museum link:
Maritime Museum

Willoughby may well have learnt his craft from Thomas Fletcher (flourished 1789), the earliest identifiable marine painter active in Hull and the probable founder of the local school. By his early 30s Willoughby was already an accomplished artist. Like the work of many Hull marine painters, this picture draws upon the city's thriving whaling industry in the early 19th century. Willoughby was not concerned with depicting the sea and sky in a realistic manner. He was preoccupied with making a detailed and honest visual record of the ships, closely observing their masts and rigging. However, there is a sense of improbability in the way the vessel sits so horizontally in a turbulent sea.

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