Divine Service as it is Usually Performed on Board a British Frigate at Sea

Image credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

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The cramped ship-board service has provided this opportunity for close observation and detail. The service takes place on the gun deck, with daylight visible through the hatches. There is a clear division between the Navy to the left and marines to the right. An admiral, wearing a pig-tail, looks at a book at a table covered with a flag, sitting on a chair draped with the union flag. In front of him a midshipman possibly reads a lesson from the Bible, attended to in varying degrees by the assembly. There are five figures behind the Admiral's table. A naval officer far right, a hand in his pocket, turns away from the assembly and his smile invites the viewer to question the content of his book. Behind him a fellow officer, feet resting on a cannon, appears to sleep. To his right, a marine colonel catches the eye of another marine officer standing on the far right, and at his feet a small midshipman sits on a stool holding a bible while another lies unopened on the deck.

National Maritime Museum



Divine Service as it is Usually Performed on Board a British Frigate at Sea




oil on canvas


H 55.6 x W 87.5 cm

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