A Boat-Builder's Yard

about 1840, Francis Danby

The Gere Collection, on long-term loan to the National Gallery, © Private collection 2000. Used by permission

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This small study shows a cluttered boat-builder's yard in which casks, baskets, boards, ropes, levers and pulleys appear to be strewn about haphazardly. Sunlight glints off surfaces, while quick touches of pale colour capture the humid atmosphere of a waterside site.

Danby's oil sketches are direct and immediate records of local sights that caught his eye, quite different from the elegantly composed poetical landscapes and biblical subjects on which his contemporary reputation was based.

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