Swanage

Description: 

Two men attempt to haul a boat (one other man inside) to shore in a storm. A variety of ships out to sea appear lashed by the wind and waves. To the right of the image there is a house on the shore, directly on the water's edge. The small but distinct figure of a person holding an umbrella appears to observe the storm from the balcony. A beach and a forested area behind the house frame the right side of the image; a shored row boat juts out of the left corner into the foreground, and a cliff extends along the middleground of the left side.

Accession Number: 

DA625 + D185 Swanage

Height (in centimeters): 

22

Width (in centimeters): 

30

Associated Events: 

Daniell took a voyage around Great Britain (1814-1825) from which he created a set of over three hundred color aquatint images, entitled Voyage Round Great Britain. Swanage is a piece from this set.

Associated Texts: 

William Daniell's Voyage Round Great Britain (1824)


Swanage was created as part of Daniell’s independent work, Voyage Round Great Britain, and appeared in vol. 7.

Subject: 

William Daniell's hand-colored aquatint depicts a storm off the coast, lashing the ships out at sea and crashing around the men attempting to drag their boat ashore.

Theme: 

Marine. Seascape. Nature.

Significance: 

William Daniell's hand-colored aquatint illustrates the tension between Britain's perception of itself as a great maritime power and the natural, man-defying power of the sea. The use of light on the foaming edges of the waves calls the viewer’s attention to this tension as it is focalized in the struggle of the men with the boat. Deep shadows fall over sections of the distant sea, which work together with the grey sky and the rough waves to create the ominous image of a storm capable of overcoming, at any moment, the laboring, leaning ships.


Daniell’s success as an artist was based on his creation of aquatints, which he could sell to the common public (rather than non-print artwork, which only the upper class could afford). His successful sales demonstrate the existence of a common demand for marine paintings and seascapes, proving the involvement of this aesthetic in Romantic British society and, consequently, in Romantic visual culture.

Bibliography: 

British Library Integrated Catalogue. The British Library Board. 1 April 2009.


Brook-Hart, Denys. British 19th Century Marine Painting. Suffolk: Baron, 1974. Print.


Tracy, Nicholas. Britannia's Palette: The Arts of Naval Victory. Montreal: McGill-Queen's UP, 2007. Print.


Bénézit, E., et al. "William Daniell." Benezit Dictionary of Artists. Vol 4. Paris: Gründ, 2006. Print.

Long Title: 

Call No: DA625 + D185


Title: Voyage Around Great Britain, vol. 3


"Swanage"


Hand-colored aquatint


Plate 22.4 x 29.8cm


Cover 36.2 x 25.4cm


Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
 
 

Engraver: 

 

Image Date: 

1823
 

Publisher: 

Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown and Green
 

Creation Technique: 

 

Support Medium: 

 

Person: