To the right of this composition, a fisherman struggles with a sail caught by the strong wind, while his boat passes dangerously close to another vessel. To the left, other sailors row towards the harbour, through the choppy water.
This work was purchased for the Government Art Collection at Christie’s, London, in 1949, having been sold by a London-based vicar, living on Percy Street, off Tottenham Court Road.
John Berney Crome was born in Norwich, the son of painter John Crome. He attended Norwich Grammar School with James Stark and George Vincent, where his father was Drawing Master. Crome, Stark and Vincent all became pupils of Crome’s father. Crome exhibited at the Norwich Society of Artists from the age of twelve and later at several London venues, including the Royal Academy. After his father’s death, he took over the teaching practice. In 1824, he was appointed landscape painter to the Duke of Sussex. When Crome was declared bankrupt in 1834 he was described as ‘drawing master, stationer, dealer and chapman’. The contents of his house were sold to pay his debts. He suffered ill heath in his final years and died at Great Yarmouth, aged 47.
Shipping Boats in the Breeze off the Norfolk Coast
Oil on canvas
height: 61.00 cm, width: 81.20 cm
Purchased from Christie's, 11 February 1949
Collection of Reverend ‘F. G. [? surname illegible]’ of Percy Street, London; by whom sold through Christie’s, London, on 11 February 1949; from which sale purchased by ‘Phillips’ on behalf of the Office of Works
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