The Custom House at Greenock, Scotland
Robert Salmon American
One of America's earliest marine painters, Salmon worked for many years in his native Britain before immigrating to Boston in 1828, where he exhibited regularly until 1844. Painted probably just after Salmon's arrival in America, this composition pits a rising tempest—conveyed in the cyclonic cloud formation, the eerie light, and the tilting ships—against the fastness of architect William Burn's Doric-style Custom House, built in 1818. The artist lived in Greenock--Scotland's oldest and most important shipbuilding city--from 1812 to 1821.