Night Fire, 19th-Century Harbour Scene

Night Fire, 19th-Century Harbour Scene

An atmospheric 19th-century harbour scene depicting a working sailboat before a large coastal fire.

Along the shoreline, several silhouetted landmarks guide our eye towards a distant steamboat. Its smoke seems to echo the flames that rise from the nearby burning buildings.

It’s interesting that the artist has juxtaposed a traditional sailboat with a fierce industrial fire, as perhaps this is a commentary on urban industrialisation. It reminds us a little of JMW Turner’s ‘The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons’, in which he paints two almighty fires that dominate the night’s sky.

The painting is housed within a handsome gilded frame with coved sides and a beaded inner border. Signed illegibly in the lower left.

Oil on canvas
Size including frame
22½” x 18” / 57cm x 46cm
Year of creation
c. 1875
Canvas relined. Craquelure throughout but paint layer stable under varnish. Framed with age-related 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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