Red Earth Collection
View of Fishing Boats off Salsette
Digital Archival Print; Open edition
10 x 14”; 25 x 36 cms
Original (Red Earth collection): Line Engraving; 8.75 x 11”; 1838; Publisher / Artist: Fisher Son and Co. / London; Publication: The Gallery of Engravings
(The work will be shipped without a frame, packed flat, or rolled in a tube).
The struggle of a fishing community to succeed during the Bombay monsoons is well captured in the foreground of this dramatic scene. A particularly strong swell is seen raising one of the fishing boats to tipping point, as seagulls swoop and swipe fishes arise to the surface, while a lone fisherman on a raft attempts to haul in his catch.
The original sketch which forms the basis for this engraving was one amongst dozens bought by the enterprising Bombay Army officer, Captain Robert Melville Grindlay, this one in particular being by yet another amateur artist employed by the East India Company army, one Lt.-Col. John Johnson, who sketched this struggle between man and nature in what is today’s Vasai Creek. After acquiring the sketch, Grindlay had a professional artist by the name of Clarkson Stanfield, who was a friend and contemporary of the world-famous J.M.W. Turner, the greatest seascape artist of his day, turn it into an oil painting. A famed artist in his own right, Stanfield’s oil formed the basis for the aquatint in Grindlay’s own publication, which in turn formed the basis for this engraving. Such a journey from sketch to print was the usual approach 200 years ago, indicative of the tedious and risky proposition that such a commercial venture would entail
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