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Jonah and the Whale

Photo credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

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This modestly sized oval panel shows five ships in a storm on the open sea. The most prominent one, depicted in port-broadside view in the centre of the composition, is struggling through the monumental rolling waves. It appears to be in danger not only from the storm ripping loose its rigging, but also from a gigantic whale raising its head out of the water immediately alongside. People on deck seem in a state of horror, graphically throwing their arms up in the air. One figure, Jonah, is pushed overboard. The busy, narrative character of the scene is aesthetically unified and channelled into an impression of great drama by both the green tonality of the sea and the clouded sky.

National Maritime Museum





oil on panel


H 48.5 x W 61 cm

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National Maritime Museum

Romney Road, Greenwich, London, Greater London SE10 9NF England

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