A pannier-laden donkey or mule waits on the shore with his master, close to where two women are sitting with a dog. Beyond them are two fishing boats in the calm waters of a river or estuary and, in the distance, is an impressive hilly landscape. This type of composition, showing a stretch of shore in the foreground, with the land rising to the right, a view of shipping in the middle ground and landscape scenery in the distance, is common to Thomas Luny’s corpus of work.
Thomas Luny, marine painter, apparently studied with the artist Francis Holman in London. He exhibited mostly at the Royal Academy, where he showed his work every year from 1780 to 1793. He showed nothing after 1793 until 1802, when he exhibited 'Battle of the Nile', and then nothing until the year of his death, when he exhibited three pictures. It is possible that in 1793 he joined the Royal Navy to fight in the French Revolutionary Wars. Luny retired to Teignmouth in Devon, in about 1810, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life. In spite of being crippled by arthritis in both his hands and his legs for over 30 years he continued to paint assiduously and his total life's work is thought to have produced some 3000 pictures.
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