The English Fleet Blockading Brest

John Thomas Serres (1759 - 1825)

Watercolour on paper

1804
  • About the work
    Location
    Country: Chile
    City: Santiago
    Place: British Embassy

    This painting of Deptford Dockyard, by John Thomas Serres, shows the dockyard busy with ships, boats and barges. Several figures can be made out within the boats in the foreground.

    The work was purchased for the Government Art Collection from the collection of journalist and newspaper editor Sir Bruce Stirling Ingram (1877-1963) in 1963. Ingram, a keen collector of art, became editor of the 'Illustrated London News' (1900-63) at the age of just 22 and editor of 'The Sketch' (1905-46) at 27.

  • About the artist
    John Thomas Serres was born in London, son of marine painter Dominic Serres the elder. On his father's death he succeeded him as Marine Painter to George III. In 1800, he was appointed Marine Draughtsman to the Admiralty and employed to draw the coasts of Britain, France, Spain and the Mediterranean. He also taught at Chelsea Naval School, painted battle scenes and published ‘Liber Nauticus’ (1805), with plates after his and his father’s drawings. In 1817, he became a proprietor of the Coburg Theatre and subsequently the scenic director. He married a pupil, Olivia Wilmot, who claimed to be the daughter of the Duke of Cumberland. Her behaviour ruined Serres, who lost favour in court. He died soon after his release from a debtor's prison.
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  • Details
    Title
    The English Fleet Blockading Brest
    Date
    1804
    Medium
    Watercolour on paper
    Acquisition
    Purchased from Sir Bruce Ingram, 1963
    Inscription
    Sdbl
    GAC number
    1610