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Francis Danby, A Boat-Builder's Yard

Key facts
Full title A Boat-Builder's Yard
Artist Francis Danby
Artist dates 1793 - 1861
Date made about 1840
Medium and support Oil on paper laid on card
Dimensions 12.2 × 18.5 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit The Gere Collection, on long-term loan to the National Gallery
Inventory number L817
Location On loan: Gere Collection Paintings to the Ashmolean (2024 - 2026), The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Oxford, UK
Image copyright The Gere Collection, on long-term loan to the National Gallery, © Private collection 2000. Used by permission
Collection Main Collection
A Boat-Builder's Yard
Francis Danby

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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