Barquentine Gladstone


Barquentine Gladstone

c. 1880 Belgium

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£2,250 gbp
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The three-masted wooden barquentine Gladstone, near Flushing, with a Deal pilot at her stern. Painted in watercolour, gouache and ink on paper, with gum arabic highlights. Within a period bird's eye maple frame.

This painting may be dated to the early 1880s when "Gladstone" was commanded by Captain Singer and after De Clerk had left Liverpool.
Gladstone was built in Geddie's yard at Banff in 1873. Registered in her home port at 152 tons gross and net, she measured 95 feet in length with a 22 foot beam and her first owner, Morrison & Co., traded her out of Banff to North Africa. Clearly following many different routes during her working life, she was still trading out of Banff, under Captain Burns, when she was lost on 17th December 1901 following a collision with the S.S. Yarrawonga in the Thames Estuary whilst en route to London from Terneuzen (Netherlands) with a cargo of phosphates.

Aristidius Amatus Joannes De Clerck was born in Ostend on 24th September 1841 and spent many years working from Antwerp, the hometown of Rubens, Bruegel and Rembrandt. His work was readily commissioned by seafarers from New England, Canada, and Europe; he was especially valued by the Scandinavians who called him "The Rembrandt of Antwerp". He himself liked to be referred to as A. de Clerck. His career as a pierhead painter began when he was 30, before this he had been a sailor, both of steam and sail. He married Virginia Scheltiens in 1869 and the first of their five children, Virginia Maria, was born the following year. Their second child, Joannes Petrus was born in 1872, Liverpool. It is unknown why the family moved to Liverpool but it would have made a good alternative to Antwerp with a prodigeous volume of commerce exchanged with North America at this time. After six years in Liverpool the De Clercks returned to Antwerp where he spent the rest of his years.
Examples of his work are to be found in a large number of institutional collections, especially those of Scandinavia, but including the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, Peabody Museum of Salem, MA, and the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto.
My grateful acknowledgment of these facts goes to Kenneth R. Martin who published the pamphlet "The Maritime Folk Art of A. De Clerck" for the Maine Maritime Museum.
External Height 29.50 inch (74.93 cm)
External Width 37.00 inch (93.98 cm)
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5 Commonwealth Buildings
Woolwich Church Street
SE18 5NS

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