|George Chambers, Snr. (1803-1840)|
Shipping off Mont Orgueil, Jersey.
Oil on canvas
Signed "G.Chambers" lower left.
13 x 19 inches.
George Chambers, Snr. (1803-1840):
One of the great sea painters of the 19th century, Chambers was born in Whitby into a sailing family. He went to sea at the age of ten and at twelve was apprenticed in the brig Equity under Captain Storr. Having shown early promise as a painter Storr eventually released Chambers from his indenture and he returned to Whitby where he worked at lettering and decorating the hulls of visiting ships. He gradually started to receive commissions from shipmasters and took lessons from a Whitby drawing master, the only instruction he ever received. Around 1820 he went to London under the patronage of Christopher Crawford who kept the Waterman's Arms at Wapping. More commissions came his way from the clientele of this Thames side hostelry. Although his early beginnings are most closely connected with merchantmen, it is as a painter of navel subjects that he is best remembered. His reputation was established when William 1V purchased a picture of the opening of the New London Bridge in 1831. Considered the most promising marine painter of his generation, sadly he contracted tuberculosis and died tragically young. He exhibited at the British Institution, Royal Academy and the Old Watercolour Society and in 1836 was elected a member of the Royal Society of Painters in Watercolours. Collections: National Maritime Museum, Tate Gallery, Birmingham Art Gallery, Laing Art Gallery, Ferens Art Gallery etc.