Limehouse Reach, London

Image credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

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This view, looking broadly east-south-east, shows coastal craft on the River Thames seen from the Rotherhithe shore. The two in the foreground are Dutch, possibly doggers, at anchor and probably drying their sails in the calm weather. A trading brig is running down river on the left on a light following breeze and another doing so in starboard-quarter view on the right, with two small cutters tacking up river at far right. The two mills shown are on the western shoreline of the Isle of Dogs known at the time, and today, as Millwall. There were in fact about five or six there in the early 19th century, though quite spread out. The domes of Greenwich Hospital can be seen in the distance round the northward bend of the river. The Scottish-born painter – originally a shipwright – was heavily influenced by 17th-century Dutch marine artists, which is very clear in this example in the low horizon and towering clouds of the sky.

National Maritime Museum



Limehouse Reach, London




oil on panel


H 27.5 x W 39.1 cm

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