Beaching a Fishing Boat in a Gale

John Hamilton Mortimer (British, Eastbourne 1740–1779 London)
Pen and black ink
sheet: 8 x 11 in. (20.3 x 27.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Mrs. Carl L. Selden Gift, in memory of Carl L. Selden, 1992
Accession Number:
Not on view
The British painter and printmaker John Hamilton Mortimer specialized in romantic scenes of bandits conceived in the tradition of Salvator Rosa, and drawn in a virtuoso manner inspired by Guercino. Here, parallel hatching lines sculpt large waves that crash against the dotted surface of the beach; cross-hatched strokes model the vessel pulled ashore; dense layers of gently curving lines designate human figures; tight scallops trace edges of foliage; and loose, abbreviated curves suggest clouds. The boldest form, however, is the least mannered: the single, sinewy, leafless tree in the center of the sheet that winds towards the sky.
Sir George Howland Beaumont (British); Cyril George Fry; Sale, Sotheby's, London (British), 30 November 1978, no. 168; Colin Hunter; Vendor: W. M. Brady and Co., Inc.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," February 6, 1995–April 16, 1995.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," July 15, 2002–October 6, 2002.

Sunderland 1986.193
Benedict Nicholson John Hamilton Mortimer ARA, 1740-1779. Exh. cat., Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne, 6 July-3 Sept.; Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood, 10 Sept.-8 Oct. 1968, exhibited, no. 111.

Leslie Parris Landscape in Britain, ca. 1750-1850. Exh. cat., Tate Gallery, London, Nov. 20, 1973-Feb. 3, 1974. 1973, cat. no. 93, pp. 53-4.

John Sunderland John Hamilton Mortimer, His Life and Works. The Walpole Society, vol. 52, 1986, cat. no. 193, fig. no. 317, p. 207.

"Curatorial Reports and Departmental Accessions: Drawings." in Annual Report of the Trustees of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, July 1, 1991 - June 30, 1992. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 122, New York, 1992, p. 30.