The Frigate Triton | Nicholas Pocock | 1797
The Frigate 'Triton'. This ship's portrait was painted for Vice-Admiral James Gambier, Lord Gambier. He was a Lord of the Admiralty at the time it was painted in 1797 and was the designer of the fifth-rate frigate,32-gun 'Triton', built as an experiment at Deptford in 1796 with timbers of fir rather than oak. The ship's portrait is small and detailed, showing the 'Triton' in three positions sailing in a fresh breeze. The principal view shows her hove-to, with the foretopsail and foretopgallant backed, with her seamen engaging in hoisting the foresails and communicating with the two-masted lugger in the right foreground, which may have just picked up a pilot from the ship before heading home.
'Triton' was later involved with three other British frigates in the capture of two Spanish treasure ships in the Bay of Biscay, on 16 October 1799, an action which made a fortune for all four captains.
Pocock placed considerable importance on accuracy, referring to his annotated drawings and sketch plans in the production of his oil paintings. He was born and brought up in Bristol, went to sea at the age of 17 and rose to command several merchant ships. Although he only took up painting as a profession in his early forties, he became extremely successful, receiving commissions from naval commanders anxious to have accurate portrayals of actions and ships. By the age of 80, Pocock had recorded nearly forty years of maritime history, demonstrating a meticulous understanding of shipping and rigging with close attention to detail. The work is unusual since the artist rarely produced ship portraits in oil. It is signed and dated 'N Pocock 1797'.
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A1 = 33.1 x 23.4 Inches
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A3 = 16.5 x 11.7 Inches
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