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Ship DITTON

Date: c 1900
Dimensions:
Overall: 470 x 620 mm, 0.6 kg
Display Dimensions: 468 x 616 mm, 3 mm
Medium: Oil on artist board
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Art
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00008797
Place Manufactured:Sydney

User Terms

    Description
    Oil painting of the square-rigged ship DITTON in full sail. The work is inscribed 'Adelaide Photo Coy Sydney', artists associated with this company worked from photographs as studies, and often used sail plans supplied by the ship's master in order to portray the ship in full sail - a view not usually seen except out at sea. The DITTON (1891-1921) was said to be one of the largest three-masted ships ever built. It made many voyages to Australian ports during its career and was involved in a triple collision in Newcastle harbour in 1902. Sold and renamed in 1911 and again in about 1918, it was wrecked near Brobjerg, Denmark in 1921.
    SignificanceThe painting is an example of the naive style of ship portraiture popular in the late 19th century. Such images were often painted from photographs, providing the high level of detail demanded by the marine art market. It also represents the group of ship portraitists active in Sydney and working with the Adelaide Photo Company around the turn of the 20th century.
    HistoryThe 2901 ton DITTON was built by T R Oswald of Milford Haven for Leyland & Co in 1891. It was wrecked north of Borbjerg on 2 November 1921.

    Artists who painted ship portraits were active in ports around the world in the 19th and early 20th centuries. A specialised market for ship pictures consisted of ship captains and crew, shipping companies and ship builders who demanded total accuracy in the ship's rigging and configuration. Many artists had a maritime background and had spent some time at sea, which resulted in a facility for capturing in minute detail all kinds of ships under sail. Broadly, they were commercial artists working mostly in watercolour depicting broadside views of ships at sea. The ship is always meticulously detailed, the seas of lesser concern. ship painters working in the ports around the Australian and New Zealand coasts often produced paintings during the short time that a ship was in port. Works by Australian artists were carried on those ships around the major trading routes to and from Australia and England, America and the grain trade to Scandinavia.

    Formally Attributed Reginald Arthur Borstel, now attributed to Walter Barratt. The work is inscribed 'Adelaide Photo Coy Sydney'. Artists associated with this company worked from photographs as studies, and often used sail plans supplied by the ship's master in order to portray the ship in full sail - a view not usually seen except out at sea.



    Additional Titles

    Primary title: UNTITLED (THE SHIP "DITTON"), PAINTING ATTRIBUTED TO BORSTAL, REGINALD ARTHUR

    Web title: Ship DITTON

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