Scheveningen Pincks off the Coast of Yarmouth, 1864
Edward William Cooke RA (1811 - 1880)
RA Collection: Art
By the age of nine, E. W. Cooke was already an accomplished draughtsman with burgeoning interests in botany and marine subjects. The young artist was trained by his father, the engraver and print publisher George Cooke, and also benefited from the advice and encouragement of several artists in the family's circle. Most influential of these was the eminent marine painter Clarkson Stanfield who, noticing Cooke's talent for observation, enlisted the 14-year old to make detailed drawings of ships and nautical equipment.
After a number of years working with his father, Cooke began exhibiting oil paintings at the Royal Academy and the British Institution in 1835. Specializing in views of Holland's waterways and seascapes, he was nicknamed 'Dutch Cooke' and even jokingly signed his canvases 'Van Kook'.
Elected a Royal Academician in 1863, Cooke gave this painting to the Academy as his Diploma work. It depicts fishing boats (known as pinks or pincks) from the Dutch port of Scheveningen, compelled to make their way to Yarmouth for safety as strong easterly gales approach. The artist's thorough knowledge and precise depiction of sailing vessels was always admired but some commentators complained of a lack of 'poetry' in his depictions of the sea itself. Dramatic scenes like this one, emphasizing man's struggle against the formidable power of the elements, may have been an attempt to answer such criticisms
902 mm x 1372 mm
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