©The Whitworth, The University of Manchester | Licence: All Rights Reserved
©The Whitworth, The University of Manchester | Licence: All Rights Reserved

Boats in a Storm, Bridlington Harbour, Yorkshire

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From the Collection


Fielding was attracted to seascape, and in particular turbulent seas. Here a vessel is on the brink of capsizing, and a small wooden building also looks vulnerable to the violent swell. For Fielding the details of the rigging and masts were secondary to representing the strength and velocity of the oceans' waves. Ruskin had been taught by Fielding, then considered the leading drawing master in London, when he was 15, and the critic reflected that he had taught him how to represent 'dark clouds and rain'. Ruskin was impressed by his sea paintings and remarked in Modern Painters: 'No man has ever given with the same flashing freedom, the race of a running tide under a stiff breeze; nor caught, with the same grace and precision, the curvature of the breaking wave, arrested or accelerated by the wind'. Ruskin was later to change his opinion of Fielding, describing his picturesque views as repetitive.

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From the Watercolour World


Bridlington Harbour, Bridlington, England