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Whaling ship with boats out attacking whales

Major collection: Hart Nautical
Named collection: Allan Forbes Collection
Object type: tempera on ink
Maker: unknown
Place made: unknown
Date made: 1800-1899
Materials: ink; paper; tempera; backing
Measurements: 11 3/4 in x 20 in
Nomenclature: whaling scenes
Classification: whales

Folk art painting depicting a whaling scene. At right, five whaleboats are attacking four whales. The whale at center has been struck and is spouting profuse blood. In front of it, the tail of a whale is shown in the act of upsetting two whaleboats, and the men inside are being flung through the air and into the water. Anatomy and proportionate scale of the figures have not been treated with great care by the artist. Around the whales, white tempera has been used to give an impression of foam, and red tinges indicate the blood of the whales. In the background are two more whales and a distant ship. To the left is a large whaleboat where a baleen whale is being cut in. A large cloud of smoke and a fire indicate that blubber is being boiled down. The ship flies a flag with a horizontal yellow stripe and the letters SB on blue, and on the fore-mast, two red and blue flags, possibly signals. The rigging is drawn in detail. No inscriptions.