Liverpool Painters

Brig Off Liverpool, 1823

Many marine painters worked in the busy port of Liverpool, England. The best known was Robert Salmon, born Robert Salomon in 1775. He began his painting career in Liverpool, Scotland, and London. After coming to the United States in 1828, he worked in Boston and painted over 300 landscapes, marine paintings and ship portraitsShip portrait

Marine painting featuring an accurate depiction of a vessel, usually commissioned by the owner or captain.
, some of American scenes and some recalling scenes from his home country. He painted about 1,000 paintings during his career.

HMS 'Sheldrake'

HMS Sheldrake was one of the hundreds of small warships used by the Royal Navy for inshore patrols, conveying merchant ships, and hunting slavers, pirates and privateersSpecie

A privately-owned vessel armed with guns which operated in time of war against the enemy's merchant ships. Privateers were commissioned by letters of marque, which licensed them to take prizes. Privateering was abolished by the Declaration of Paris in 1856.
. She was a 16-gun brigBrig

Vessel with two masts; both square-rigged.
built in 1806, and sold in 1816.

In 1811, the Sheldrake distinguished herself. Serving in the Baltic under Commander James P. Stewart, she fought Danish gunboats four times and captured or destroyed five. To finish off the year she took a French privateer. Stewart was promoted to Captain for his good work.

Stewart may well have spent some of his new pay and prize money to have Salmon paint the ship that brought him luck and a promotion.

Packet 'Margaret Johnson'

Joseph Heard (1799-1859), another Liverpool artist, painted this picture of the packet Margaret Johnson, shown here off South Stack Light, Anglesey.

John Hughes (1806-1880) painted the Castine, Maine-built ship St. Leon in Liverpool in 1838. She was owned by Castine merchants Witherle and Jarvis. The Witherle papers are in the museum's archives, including an invoice from Hughes for the ship portrait (5 pounds) and the packing crate (50 pence.) Hughes painted many works for American clients.


Ship 'St. Leon' Invoice for painting of 'St. Leon'


Ship 'Phineas Pendleton'

Charles J. Waldron (1836-c.1883), like Hughes, painted in Liverpool. In 1869 he painted the Phineas Pendleton, named for a Searsport captain and built in Brewer, Maine.

Another Waldron Liverpool painting showed the Great Admiral, built in Boston in 1869. The Great Admiral had an active life of 37 years. Winterport's Benjamin Thompson commanded her for 12 years and commissioned this painting.

William G. York, or Yorke, was born in 1817 in New Brunswick, but emigrated to Liverpool about 1850-53. His son, William H. York(e), was born in Liverpool and remained there throughout his life. William G., however, moved to New York around 1871, then returned to Liverpool sometime after 1886. To complicate artist identification, besides having similar names, both the father and son added an e to their name in the 1870s and 80s. This photograph shows William H.York(e).


Ship 'A.J. Fuller' Ship 'Mary L. Cushing'


William H. Yorke