19th-Century British School

Portrait Of A Seafaring Merchant

19th-Century British School

Portrait Of A Seafaring Merchant

This early 19th-century British school oil painting depicts a seafaring merchant before a full-rigged ship. He’s wearing a tailcoat, white shirt, patterned green waistcoat, and black stock.

Opportunities within the maritime industry were numerous in the 1830s. England was an advanced globalised nation at the heart of the British Empire. Trade routes to previously inaccessible parts of the world were established and goods were being transported at an unprecedented scale. Technology was also continually advancing with steamships increasingly used both domestically and internationally.

This gentleman appears, from his confident demeanour, to be at the very heart of it. With dividers in hand, he’s planning his next route. 

Note the interesting waistcoat, which seems to feature three and four-leaf clovers.

Held in a later frame.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 35” x 41” / 89cm x 105cm
Year of creation: c. 1830
Provenance: Private collection, England.
Condition: Assessed by our conservator and the decision was made to retain its worn appearance for aesthetic reasons. Craquelure, as you would expect. The paint layer is stable. Frame with some age-appropriate wear.

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

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