Thomas Whitcombe’s elegant marine painting depicts ‘Achates’, the 16-gun sailing ship of the British Navy. In the year that Whitcombe painted it, the Navy had captured the ship from the French (who called it ‘Le Milan’). The ship was eventually sold from the Navy in 1818.
The name ‘Achates’ derives from Roman mythology: Achates was a close friend of Aeneas and accompanied the hero on his travels and adventures. His name is associated with faithful companionship and the virtue of fidelity.
Despite his accomplishments in the genre of British marine painting, few solid facts about the life of Thomas Whitcombe are recorded. He is particularly known for his extensive depictions of the Royal Navy’s participation during the French Revolution, via his paintings which were reproduced in ‘The Naval Achievements of Great Britain’, published after the wars. Based in London, Whitcombe is only known to have exhibited one painting at the British Institution (1820), but exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy from 1783 to 1824. Examples of his work are today held in numerous public collections including the National Maritime Museum and the Tate in London.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.