Robert Cleveley (Deptford 1747 - Dover 1809)

Shipping in the Downs, with Dover in the distance


Shipping in the Downs, with Dover in the distance

pencil and bodycolour on paper

Offered here as a fine example of painting in bodycolour – or gouache, as it is known today – by an artist who clearly understood not only ships and the sea, but the dramatic effects of lighting for, when seen across a room, this gouache has the impact of an oil painting. Cleveley was obviously well aware of the work of Van de Velde and Backhuyzen, and, in his own time, the sublime compositions of de Loutherbourg.