Clarkson Stanfield: The Gulf of Salerno

£ 42,500.00


Circa 1840




Height: 35 inches (89cm) 53 inches (135 cm)

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Clarkson Stanfield: The Gulf of Salerno

This oil painting on canvas shows commercial shipping and fishermen in the Gulf of Salerno.  The tower at Vietri is visible in the background.  There is a three masted barque surrounded by a cluster of sailing boats and service tenders to the right.  In the foreground a pile of nets, a basket and two flagons are scattered on the beach.  With a gilt plaque stating ‘The Gulf of Salerno, W. Clarkson Stanfield R.A. Exhib. 1857. No.371’.  English, circa 1840.

Provenance: Alan Russett, author of biographies of Dominic Serres, George Chambers and John Thomas Serres ‘The Tireless Enterprise of a Marine Artist’, Clarkson Frederick Stanfield, R.A. (1793-1867) was born in Sunderland.  As his father was a well-known actor and his mother an artist, his first artistic endeavours were painting theatrical scenery.  In 1808 he went to sea in a collier, was subsequently pressed into the Navy for two years and then sailed as a seaman to China and back.  Once home, he resumed theatrical scenery painting and was famous for his ‘moving dioramas’, unrolling land and seascapes, some twenty feet high.  At the same time, his easel painting earned him the admiration of William IV and Queen Victoria.  She bought several of his oils, including, in 1840, a pair of Italian scenes, ‘A view of the beach at Vietri in the Gulf of Salerno’ and ‘The Capuchin Convent at
Amalfi’.  He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1820 and became a full Academician in 1835.  He received several other artistic honours and was appointed Curator of Pictures at Greenwich Hospital in 1844.

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