This is wonderful, Julie — Such an ambitious depiction of distress! Definitely worth the ponder!
Everything about it depicts the brink of disaster — literally and, in context with the period of time, metaphorically . The only hopeful sign are the patches of blue sky signaling the storm has passed. But it will be hours before the sea calms... The feeble matchstick lighthouse in the background... The stony shore menacing... The unravelling and untethering of the sails is surrender...
"Ship of state" indeed! I hadn't heard of the artist before. I checked out the historical background of the painting and time period. When placed in context of the events of our nation at the time It only adds to the richness of the scene depicted. We were young...
I wonder if this was a slave ship? Those that have boarded the lifeboats look white. But if you look closely at the ship deck there are dark images that languish in the back. But down below deck....
Thanks for this. I bookmarked the website for future pondering : )