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Two Lines of Ships, One Ship Ablaze for Breaming

Photo credit: The Bowes Museum

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This painting is likely to be a depiction of a process known as breaming. The ship is first careened on to its side to give access to the hull. Men then stand on a breaming raft to the side of the tilted ship and fire is introduced to remove seaweed, barnacles and other items picked up by the vessel on long journeys. After this procedure new tar is applied to the ship to make it watertight and sailable. This was a large operation requiring many men in order to heel the ship over on its side. Cassinelli carefully depicts the ropes which anchor the ship in position.

The Bowes Museum

Barnard Castle




oil on panel


H 21.6 x W 54.7 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

bequeathed by the Founders, 1885

Work type



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The Bowes Museum

Barnard Castle, County Durham DL12 8NP England

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