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Francis Danby lived in Bristol from 1813 to 1824 and then moved to London. He exhibited this painting at the Royal Academy that summer and it established his reputation. The President, Sir Thomas Lawrence, bought it for £100. Since then, the sea has darkened and the figures on the raft, survivors of a shipwreck, are less prominent. It is an intensely Romantic image, the vastness of the ocean and the spectacular sky emphasising the insignificance of mankind, and it inspired both John Martin and J.
oil on canvas
H 89.6 x W 142.9 cm
purchased with the assistance of the Victoria and Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund, the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund, the Penraven Fund and the Friends of Bristol Art Gallery, 1982